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Tuesday, 2 March 2021

China is all over gov’t microbus natgas plans

Another Chinese auto firm signs up for gov’t natgas transition plan: General Misr, the local agent of China’s Joylong Automobile minibus brand, intends to start by early 2022 producing some 3k vehicles with dual-fuel engines, a company source who asked to remain unnamed told Enterprise. This move comes as part of the government’s plan to have some 15k minibuses running on natgas. The Chinese company has agreed to have one of its vehicle models locally assembled in Egypt, and will choose between four local factories owned by the Arab Organization for Industrialization, Egyptian German Automotive, Aboul Fotouh Automotive and JAC Egypt Chairman Mahmoud Mokhtar.

Then there’s Foton: TVD — a joint venture between GB Auto and El Ghalban Auto — will start locally assembling Foton minibuses that run on natgas by the end of this year, GB Auto IR Manager Marina Kamal told Enterprise, without specifying how many vehicles the company will manufacture.

And Brilliance Auto and Jinbei? Chinese car firms Brilliance Auto and Jinbei were said to be in talks to participate in the microbus conversion program last year but little has been heard of since.

Background: The scheme is part of an ambitious EGP multi-bn government plan announced earlier this year to replace as many as 240k microbuses, and convert up to 147k to run on natural gas, and to offer incentives to private vehicle owners to do the same. Toyota struck an agreement with the Arab Organization for Industrialization in 2019 to manufacture 240k nat-gas minibuses, and agreed last year to convert its entire 100k microbus fleet in Egypt in the coming four to six years.

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