“We expected to sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with our technology partner by the end of last year, but that didn't materialize,” Ms. Sadek said, without identifying the company. She noted it is not a European company.
GB Auto has scheduled a meeting with the potential technology partner in late January 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 this quarter.
In terms of machinery, she said, GB Auto has held talks with a number of suppliers but a deal will very much depend on the technology partner and their choice of machinery.
BG Auto's primary business is as a car importer, assembler and distributor in the Middle East and North Africa, dealing primarily with the Hyundai and Mazda brands. It assembles Hyundai cars in Egypt and is partnering with China's Geely Automotive Holding Ltd. for the same.
GB Auto also is a distributor of passenger car, van, truck, construction equipment and bus tires in Algeria, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan and Libya. Among the brands it handles are Diamond Back, Goodyear, Grandstone, Jumbo, Lassa, Triangle and Yokohama.
The Ghabbour Auto story began in the 1940s, when Ms. Sadek and Kamal Ghabbour started a family-run trading business. The company ventured into the automotive business during Egypt's open-door policy in the 1970s, and expanded rapidly throughout the 1980s and 1990s. It has been publicly traded on the Egyptian Exchange (EGX) since 2007.
The company reports $1.6 billion in annual sales, roughly 2 percent of which come from tires.
This report appeared on the website of European Rubber Journal, a United Kingdom-based sister publication of Tire Business.