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Sunday, 9 September 2018

GB Auto to start building motorcycle factory in Ain Sokhna next year, sees market turning around

**#6 GB Auto is planning to start building a motorcycle plant in Ain Sokhna next year, Chairman and CEO Raouf Ghabbour told Bloomberg in an interview. Production from the new plant is expected to start in 2020, with much of the output earmarked for export, according to Ghabbour, who adds that East Africa will be a key market. The project’s investment value was not disclosed, but the company had announced in December 2016 that it was investing USD 60 mn in a new motorcycle factory in the Suez Canal Economic Zone and was in the final stages of acquiring land permits for it.

A turnaround in the cards for the auto market in 2019: GB Auto will also be resuming sales of the Chinese Geely vehicle this month, a move that is expected to push sales up by 40% this year to 140k units, and up to 180k units by 2019, Ghabbour said. GB Auto had incurred losses in 2016 and 2017 but began to recover in the first half of 2018, posting a 45.8% y-o-y growth in its top line in 2Q2018 to EGP 6.1 bn. The company expects auto sales to double in 2019 compared to 2017 — when the car market shrunk to nearly half its average size as inflation levels soared following the EGP float — as demand recovers and the market adjusts to new realities.

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