London – Egyptian automotive assembly and manufacturing giant Ghabbour Auto is venturing into the tire-making business, according to the company’s chief investment officer.
Speaking to ERJ, Mena Sadek said that her company is planning to build a tire-production plant in the Middle East with a capacity of one million radial truck tires and 6 million passenger car tires.
“Initially, we were thinking about a location within the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states. But now we are looking into our home market too,” she said.
According to Sadek, once the technology partner is determined, GB Auto expects to complete the project within two years.
“We expected to sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with our technology partner by the end of last year, but that didn’t materialise,” said Sadek.
“A meeting is scheduled for next week with the technology partner to sort out the outstanding issues and work out a time-line,” the executive said, adding that she expected an agreement to be reached by Q1, 2016.
Sadek declined to name the technology partner but confirmed that it was not a European company.
In terms of machinery, she said, GB Auto has held talks with a number of suppliers but it will very much depend on our technology partner and their choice of machinery.
According to Sadek, the project was initially estimated to cost $400 million (€368 million) but is expected to exeed that amount.
GB Auto is already a distributor of passenger car, van, truck, construction equipment and bus tires in Egypt, Iraq, Libya, Algeria and Jordan.