Nile Trading and Engineering (NTE), affiliated to Al-Futtaim Group, plans to relocate its Honda service centre in Egypt from the Suez Bridge area to Cairo-Ismailia Desert Road within the third quarter (Q3) of this year.
Sherif Mahmoud, general manager of the company, said the new centre for maintenance and sales services was built on an area of 3,000 sqm, with a capacity of 60 cars per day. The new centre will increase Honda’s investment by 30%.
He added that NTE is communicating with Honda International to release a new model in the Egyptian market within the coming months.
The price of the new Honda Civic registered about EGP 450,000 in the last period, due to the high dollar price and customs duties, Mahmoud said.
He added that his company pays customs duties of 40%, while European cars pay only 12%.
He further added that the Civic’s sales do not rely only on the market’s demand, but also on the Egyptian company’s ability to import the car, in light of the difficulties facing the sector due to the shortage of foreign currency.
Mahmoud asserted that NTE has no intention to quit the Egyptian market, but it seeks to increase its local investments.
He called on the Egyptian government to allow the import of motorcycles, saying, “whoever wants to carry out a terrorist act will not use only motorcycles.”
The Egyptian government has stopped the import of motorcycles since 2014 for security reasons, justifying its decision that terrorists use them to carry out their operations.
The head of NTE said that, despite its importance, the flotation of the Egyptian pound had its negative effects, which will not disappear except by increasing dollar revenues in the coming period.
Mahmoud called for speeding the issuance of the automotive strategy in line with the national interest, not personal passions, especially as it will achieve competition justice. This will serve the citizen in the first place before the sector’s workers, he added.
He noted that Honda International is interested in the Egyptian automotive strategy, saying, “the parent company always asks about the developments of the strategy.”
NTE has allocated the largest share of its financial resources to import spare Honda parts, which affected the import of cars, Mahmoud revealed.
He pointed out that the 2017 Civic, which was released last Monday, is suitable for the Egyptian market. The car was presented in foreign markets with a 2,000CC engine, while it was released with a 1,600CC engine in Egypt.
The new car features a sunroof, halogen lights, a front grille, door handles made of nickel, 17-inch metal wheels, dual automatic AC, and a rear-view camera.
The rear seat of the car is retractable, with more electrical outlets, a map reader, a 7-inch screen, and HDMI and USB ports.
The vehicle also features automatic hand brakes, rear view mirrors, rear parking sensors, a speed stabiliser, electric power steering (EPS), fuel-saving system, and the car can be operated from the outside by a remote control device.
The car also offers an anti-lock braking system (ABS), vehicle stability assist (VSA), a traction control system (TCS), and driver and four side airbags. The Civic also includes an anti-theft system and ISOFIX fittings for child car seats. The civic has a 4-cylinder, 1,597CC engine.
The total weight of the Civic is 1,291 kg, with a ground clearance of 153.5 mm, which suits Egyptian streets.