Saturday,23 February, 2019
Current issue | Issue 1361, (21 - 27 September 2017)
Saturday,23 February, 2019
Issue 1361, (21 - 27 September 2017)

Ahram Weekly

Germany lowers the hand brake

Mercedes-Benz is on its way back to Egypt with highly ranked support, reports Mohamed Abdel-Razek

Mercedes-Benz assembly line

After years of dormancy, German giants Mercedes is seeking to return to one of the important markets in Africa and the Middle East, appointing Thomas Zorn as CEO of Mercedes-Benz Egypt S.A.E. Putting Zorn in charge starting in February 2016 was a keen move by the German company. With his experience and achievements in Northeast Asia and Europe in the past 16 years, Zorn’s presence in Egypt will surely bring back the glamour of the car’s star.

A very important part was missing to get the engine running -- the determination of officials running the country to relive the golden days of car manufacturing. This part was found last week when Chairman of the Suez Canal Economic Zone (SC-zone) Mohab Mamish visited the Mercedes-Benz display in the 10-day 2017 Frankfurt Auto Show which started 14 September. Mamish talked to Zorn on the support he can provide to bring back Mercedes, Daimler AG, assembly and distributing plant in the Suez Canal Economic Zone. Mamish provided an overview on the highly capable facilities in the SC-zone and the services it can provide which can make it fertile ground for such a big name in car manufacturing to flourish in this part of the world.

Mamish and the Egyptian delegation at Frankfurt Auto Show

The German side was delighted, and agreed in principle with Mamish and his accompanying delegation on restoring the company’s activities in Egypt and establishing a logistics distribution centre in SC-zone.

So, how beneficial might the comeback of Mercedes assembly lines and distributing be to the Egyptian customer and economy? The customer will be hoping that inflated prices drop, meaning the product should reflect the value of money. Mercedes cars are currently being imported from abroad, ending up in showrooms at exorbitant prices, which by default increases the price of second hand Mercedes cars.

On the other hand, many working opportunities will be available for Egyptian engineers and technicians, among others, which will build experience that will definitely benefit the industry in the country in upcoming years. Distributing cars not only in Egypt but also in other parts of Africa and the Middle East will also enrich the Egyptian economy with foreign currency.

Zorn talked to Al-Ahram Weekly two months ago on how he wants to improve customer service and satisfy the needs of Egyptian customers by providing new lines like SUVs in the years ahead.

Mamish also talked to several car companies in Frankfurt as part of his promotional tour for the SC-zone in Germany.

The auto show was also attended by German Chancellor Angela Merkel along with other global leaders and celebrities, which shows how the car industry is vital to the global economy.

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