Bmw, GM, Toyota briefly shut down operations in Egypt over political unrest

Article by Christian Andrei, on July 8, 2013

The current political unrest in Egypt has prompted carmakers BMW, General Motors and Toyota to temporarily stop all or parts of their operations in the country. Following the expulsion of Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi on July 2, 2013, BMW and GM closed their sales and production units in the country the following day.

A spokeswoman for BMW told Automotive News Europe through e-mail that the carmaker’s normal business and production in Egypt would make a full return by Sunday, July 7, 2013. Sunday marks the start of a normal workweek in the country. Automotive News Europe received an e-mail auto-reply from GM Egypt marketing and export manager Karim Tinawi saying that the unit will be closed on July 4, 2013 as a precautionary measure, and will resume on July 7.

GM, which sells the Opel and Chevrolet brands in Egypt, has a complete knockdown site in Cairo. Japanese carmaker Toyota did not shut down its production at its Cairo site throughout the period of political unrest. The carmaker, however, did shut down all of its dealerships from June 29, to July 1, 2013. Toyota’s dealerships reopened on July 2, 2013.

A Toyota spokesman told Automotive News Europe in an e-mail that the closure was a precautionary measure by Toyota Egypt based on “reports of upcoming large-scale demonstrations." The Toyota spokesman added the there was no damage to its 25 dealerships in Egypt, noting that overall car sales was not affected despite the political unrest. A Renault spokeswoman told Automotive News Europe that while it has 38 dealerships in Egypt, but no vehicle production, it was not affected by the unrest. [source: automotive news - sub. required]

Topics: gm, bmw, toyota

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