Although the Egyptian car market (120.000 new cars annually) is a very small market compared to other European car markets like Germany for example
(4.000.000 new cars per year), we find that Cairo is still hosting two major car shows every year, the Formula Al-Ahram Motorshow (in December) and the
AutoMech Akhbar El Yom Motor Show (in June). In a few days the AutoMech Akhbar El Yom 2007 will open its door to show the latest car models arriving to Egypt
this summer. We from Daily Star Egypt and Auto Arabia Magazine decided to show you not only the latest models being displayed at AutoMech Motor Show before
it opens for public, but we will also show you the latest car models which will arrive to Egypt later this Summer.
According to the AutoMech organizers we will enjoy the beautiful
design of the new Porsche Carrera-night mare from Audi, the new Audi R8 sports car. Powered by a 4.2-litre V8 engine the Audi R8 develops 420 horsepower
(Porsche Carrera 4S: 355 hp) and some promising 430 Newton-Meter (Porsche Carrera 4S: 400 Nm). The Audi R8 accelerate from 0-100 km/h in 4.6 sec, reaches a
top speed of 301 km/h (Porsche Carrera 4S: 288 km/) and is price-tagged at 81.400 Euros (Porsche Carrera: 97.000 Euros).
Audi will also reveal the new Audi Q7 SUV to the Egyptian public, but unfortunately not the Q7 with the new V12 TDI diesel engine, which produces almost 1000
BMW will try to attract the AutoMech visitors to its stand with
new BMW X5 , which is fitted with an V8 gasoline engine producing 355 horsepower. With a ground clearance of 21 cm the new X5 should have no problems during
desert excursions around Sakkara or even in severe off-road areas like Sinai or the Western Desert.
It?´s a pity that BMW in Egypt is not assembling the BMW X5 4.4 instead of the BMW X3 3.0, which recently was outperformed by the locally-assembled Nissan X-
Trail 2.5 (first place) in the SUV comparison test alongside with the Jeep Cherokee 2007 (third place) published in AUTO ARABIA magazine. The X5 trunk
can take up to 620 liters of luggage space and is playing in the same league like the Porsche Cayenne.
At the BMW stand we will find furthermore the ï?½newï?½ BMW 316i (E90), which is probably the only real world-premiere not only at the AutoMech Motor-Show but in
the Egyptian motor-show history. The BMW 316i with the mysteriously ï?½newï?½ 1.6 litre engine is available worldwide only in Cairo and is not mentioned even in
the official German pricelist of BMW. Thatï?½s what I call a real ï?½smartï?½ achievement by the decision-makers of Bavarian Auto Group & BMW Egypt.
Also for the last time on display in Egypt is the BMW 7 series, as it will be replaced in 2008 by a brand-new model. The current BMW 5 series will be
replaced in 2010 by the successor under the internal code F10.
The Chinese brand Brilliance, which is represented in
Egypt by the Bavarian Auto Group, is displaying its 4-doors sedan Galena model, which is sold in Europe under the name Brilliance BS6. Though the Brilliance
BS6 launch in Germany was delayed due to the poor results in the Euro-NCAP crash test, it seems like this unhappy crash result did not hinder the buyers in
Egypt to opt for the locally assembled Brilliance Galena / BS6 which is price-tagged at around 160.000 LE..
Although I am not a real fan of Chinese cars it seems like some
Chinese manufacturers were able to demonstrate their attractiveness in Egypt. Chery is one of them. In China Chery celebrated the production of the 800.00th
Chery car on the 2nd of March 2007. At AutoMech Motor Show Chery will unveil the brand new Chery A18, a new Minivan-like passenger car with sliding doors
like the Volkswagen Caddy Life and a design silhouette which reminds you of the Skoda Roomster. Chery will also display the A11, the A15 and the QQ at
The Chevrolet Optra will also be part of the General Motors
stand, especially after the huge success among the Egyptian police fleet which recently updated and upgraded its fleet with imported Chevrolet Optra models
instead of locally assembled ones. General Motors Egypt and Mansour Chevrolet, which is owned by the family of Egyptian Minister of Transportation
Mohamed Mansour, became very active recently in terms of marketing and promoting the Chevrolet and Opel brand through various activities and events, like the
voucher raffle when you buy for more than 100 LE at any store of the Metro chain, which is by the way also owned by the Mansour family.
Daihatsu Egypt has proved very successful since it was managed by a new company, especially with the small Daihatsu Terios. Two other newcomers to the Daihatsu brand are the nostalgic-looking Daihatsu Trevis,
which reminds you instantly with the MINI Cooper, and the trendy convertible Daihatsu Copen. The Daihatsu is powered by a 55-hp engine, is only 3,4 m long
and starts in the basic version at app. 8000 Euro in Europe ( app. 76.000 LE in Egypt).
A few days ago Ferrari and their Egyptian importer MTI
celebrated Ferrariï?½s 60th anniversary relay on the streets of Cairo. The anniversary relay fleet in Cairo was supposed to include the beautiful Ferrari 599
GTB, the F 430 Spider, the 612 Scaglietti as well as other current Ferrari models. Mr. Khaled Mahmoud, Chairman of MTI Automotive and Mr. Marco
Cavagna, Ferrari Middle East and Africa Regional Sales Manager, welcomed five Ferrari owners and the press during this 2-days event on two separate
occasions. A red Ferrari F430 Spider will be the eye-catcher at the Ferrari stand at AutoMech Motor Show.
The mother-company of Ferrari, namely FIAT, will be
showing some more modest vehicles on its stand like the FIAT Grand Punto. For the first time after decades FIAT is reviving its iconic Abarth brand which was
highlighting the special editions of the Fiat 128 Abarth and Fiat Ritmo Abarth in the early eighties. The hottest version of the FIAT Grand Punto
Abarth will be equipped with a 1.4-litre four-cylinder turbo engine producing some amazing 180hp and 230 Nm.
Ford Egypt is trying to catch the attention of the motor show visitors with the some extravagant models like the Lincoln Navigator and the Ford F150 truck,
which became very popular recently in Egypt after a lot of customers discovered the low tax & customs duties on pick-up truck. Also on display will be
the new Ford Explorer, the Ford Expedition Eddie Bauer Edition. Although the Ford Focus CC (Coupe + Convertible) started very late after the competitors Opel
Astra TwinTop, Volkswagen Eos, Peugeot 307 CC where already available in the market, I believe that the Focus CC will surely find a lot of fans in Egypt,
especially as the summer season is just about to start.
The new Honda Civic which made its official Egyptian debut
just a few weeks ago, will surely be one of the high-lights at AutoMech, especially as the Civic model is very popular among young buyers. The eight
generation of the Honda Civic is available as a 4-doors sedan as well as a 2-doors hatchback version. Top-of-the-line is the R-Type version producing 201hp.
There is also an environmental-friendly hybrid version (1.3 litre engine) producing 95 hp as well as a S-Type.
While the mother-company Ghabbour group is busy preparing
its IPO for entering the Egyptian stock market we found the passenger car division Hyundai Egypt busy trying to sell as many different models as possible in
the relatively small Egyptian market. Besides the Hyundai Accent, New Accent, Elantra, Sonata, Tuscon, and Santa Fe we noticed that also the Hyundai Coupe is
selling very well in Egypt. While the old Hyundai Coupe was priced at app. 120.000 LE we believe that the new Hyundai Coupe will be a little bit more
expensive. The design of the new Hyundai is more appealing and sporty than the old one, and is standard-equipped with ESP (Electronic Stability Program),
sports suspension, side-airbags and a double exhaust-pipe.
For the first time in Jaguar history the company unveiled the XK
coupe and convertible at the same time. The smooth V8 engine develops 298 hp and accelerates the 4,8 m long and 1,89 m wide car from 0-100 km/h in only 6.2
sec, reaching a top-speed of 250 km/h.
The British cat comes standard with an electronic stability program (TRAC DSC), adaptive suspension system (CATS) and the world-first pedestrian protection
hood (PDBS). The Jaguar XK is price-tagged at app 65.500 Euros. The competitors of the XK are the Mercedes SL 350 (app. 66.000 Euros) and the BMW 650i (app.
Due to the ongoing fight between the Egyptian men Mohamed Nossier
and Walid Tawfik on who is the legitimate KIA importer in Egypt, we noticed that the KIA brand in Egypt is somehow suffering under these circumstances.
Nevertheless we thought to introduce to our readers the latest KIA model to show you what will mark the future KIA presence in Egypt. The new KIA Cï?½eed comes
with a 5-year warranty for the whole car and an additional 2 years for the engine. This means a 7-year warranty and 150.000 warranty for the engine for less
than 13.000 Euro (price in German). The price in Egypt will be app.130.000 LE. The KIA Cï?½eed comes with three gasoline engines: 1.4 litre (109 hp), 1.6 litre
(122 hp) and 2.0 litre (140hp). Available are also two diesel engines: 1.6 litre (115 hp) and 2.0 litre (140hp).
Maserati: Che Bella Macchina
Only one Maserati Quattroporte so far made it
all the way down from Italy to Egypt. A very well-known Egyptian business-man proved to have a very classy and stylish taste when he decided to own this
piece-of-art automobile. Maseratiï?½s tradition with four-door sport cars started in 1963 with the Quattroporte. Since then all Maserati 4-door sedans have a
Ferrari engine beneath the hood. Even the Italian presidentï?½s official car is a Quattroporte. Since January 2007 the Quattroporte can be ordered with a 6-
speed automatic transmission, which together with the 4.2-litre V8 engine (400 hp / 450 Nm) provides you with a smooth but also very quick ride.. Top-speed
is 275 km/h, 0-100km/ is reached in 6.3 seconds. The Quattroporte can also be ordered as Sport GT or Executive GT version. The GT-version has gear-pedals at
the steering-wheel and comes with 20-inch alloy wheels.
Another Maserati-beauty is the Maserati GranSport Spyder, which we tested a few weeks ago on the Hockenheim Race Circuit in Germany. The 4.2-litre V8 engine
produces 400 hp and 450 Nm enabling the Spyder to reach a top-speed of 285 and a 0-100 km/h acceleration in 4,95 seconds. With 400 hp you can easily do
controlled drifts anywhere and anytime you like. Bella Macchina !
Mercedes & Chrysler
DaimlerChrysler Egypt is still holding to its ï?½Egyptianï?½
tradition which dictates not to pay much attention to Egyptian Motor-Shows. This year itï?½s the same, though there might be a good excuse this year: The split
of Mercedes Benz and Chrysler and the end of the DaimlerChrysler era is keeping everybody busy.
A few days before DaimlerChrysler CEO Dr. Dieter Zetsche (also known as ï?½Dr. Zeeï?½) arrived to Cairo recently on a historic visit to attend the launch event
of the locally assembled Mercedes S-Class, he unveiled the brand-new Mercedes C-Class in Stuttgart.
Automotive experts are asking why buy a Mercedes E-Class or even S-Class if you can get a similar design, the same options and even better technology in the
C-Class. The C220 CDI is equipped with a 2.2-litre diesel engine, producing 170 hp and 400 Nm which enable the C220 CDI to sprint from 0-100km/h in 9.0 sec
and reaching a top-speed of 229 km/h. The C220 CDI starts at app. 29.000 Euros.
Also Chrysler has a brand-new baby, the new Jeep Cherokee 2008 which is replacing the old Jeep Cherokee 2007 already this year. The 2008 Cherokee comes
with a 3.7-litre gasoline engine (6 cylinders, 210hp), starting 2008 there will also be a 4-cylinders 2.8-litre engine (180 hp, 400 Nm). The new Cherokee is
available with two all-wheel drive systems, the Selec-Trac II (automatic) and the Command-Trac (manual). Both Sport and Limited edition can be ordered with
an automatic transmission gear-box. For the first time available in the Cherokee is the new panorama-top which can be unfold or opened like it was the case
with the 70ï?½ Citroen 2 CV.
Nissan Egypt will be putting the Nissan Pathfinder
alongside the Nissan Tiida and the locally assembled Nissan X-Trail and Nissan Sunny. The Nissan X-Trail, which is equipped with a 2.5 litre engine, has
recently won the SUV comparison test between the BMW X3, Jeep Cherokee and the X-Trail which was conducted and published by the pan-Arabic car magazine AUTO
The Nissan Tiida has the largest leg and head space as well as the largest trunk in its segment. No other competitor in its class can get even close to that.
Nissan offers test-drives of the Tiida, Sunny and X-Trail for the visitors at the exhibition ground during the AutoMech Motor Show. The Nissan Sunny was used
recently during a Road Safety & Safe Driving feature for OTV television.
Opel will unveil the Opel Corsa, which was already
introduced to the international media last year (June 2006) in Dresden (Germany) where we had plenty of time to test the superb and safe handling of this
It seems like Opel Egypt will finally be able to compete in the Egyptian market after the German headquarter insisted on importing German Opel models instead
of the Brazilian Opel models in order to be able to compete with the Japanese and Korean rivals. Surely the new Opel Vectra sedan, the Astra Hatchback, the
Opel Astra TwinTop (convertible) and the Opel Corsa will create a totally new competition in the Egyptian local market. The Corsa is available with three
gasoline engines (1.0 litre: 60 hp / 1.2 litre: 80 hp / 1.4 litre: 90 PS) and two diesel engine (1.3 litre CDTi: 75 or 90 hp / 1.7 litre CDTi : 125 hp)
Porsche Egypt (SMG) will finally introduce the Porsche
Cayman to the Egyptian public. The Cayman S is equipped with 17-inch alloy wheels and a 2.7-litre engine (295
hp), reaches 0-100 km/ in 6.1 and keeps on accelerating until it reaches a top-speed of 258 km/h.
Range Rover / Land Rover
The importer of Land Rover in Egypt, MTI will show the
Range Rover HSE and the new Land Rover LR2. The new LR2 has great potential to play an important role in the Egyptian SUV market especially after the LR2 won
recently the comparison test against his German rival the BMW X3 in a leading German car magazine (AMS / issue 11-2007).
This shows that the LR2 shall be one of the best SUVs in Egypt alongside the Nissan X-Trail. The LR2 is offered with both gasoline and diesel engines.
Although the SEAT mother-company was sponsoring one of
Shakiras tours this year, we will probably not see her signing any cars at the SEAT stand in AutoMech this year. Nevertheless we will still find some
interesting SEAT models worth paying a visit to the SEAT stand, like the SEAT Leon.
Skoda Egypt will show the well-known model range in
Egypt, the Octavia A5 and A4, the Roomster and the old Fabia. Unfortunately neither the new Fabia nor the new Skoda Octavia Scout will be shown at AutoMech.
The Skoda Octavia Scout is modified version, having a 4 cm larger ground clearance, different bumpers, engine protection shield and 17-inch alloy wheels.
Conclusion: The Skoda Octavia Scout is the ideal car for Egyptian roads!
The Subaru brand is surely the most under-estimated car
brand in Egypt. Resale value discussions and concerns regarding the spare parts are surely the two main obstacle for a flourishing Subaru market in Egypt.
The Subaru Impreza is actually one of the most ideal cars for the Egyptian roads due to the all-wheel drive system and the comfortable suspension which
provides a smooth and comfortable ride as well as an unrivaled stability and handling in this car segment. I hope that Subaru Egypt (Abu Ghali) will start an
effective marketing & media campaign soon for the current Impreza model before the new Impreza (sedan and hatchback) is introduced.
The Suzuki Vitara and the Suzuki Swift will be the main
actors at the Suzuki stand this year. The Suzuki Swift already proved to be one of the best compact cars in Egypt, when it won recently the comparison test
against the Mini One. Also the Suzuki Swift Sport was able to outperform the Mini Cooper S in another comparison test
The Swift is available with a 1.3 litre engine (92 hp), a 1.5 litre engine (102 hp) and a 1.6 litre engine (125 hp). The Swift can alternatively be ordered
with automatic transmission and also with an all-wheel drive system (for 5-doors manual transmission version only).
The Toyota stand will be as always one of the most visited
stands at AutoMech, due to Toyotaï?½s immense popularity among Egyptian consumers. With more than 20.000 units sold in 2006 Toyota is the market leader in
terms of selling imported cars in Egypt. Toyota will show among others the Corolla, Avensis, Prado, Hi-Lux, RAV 4 and the Yaris. Besides the already existing
success in Egypt Toyota will reach even much better market shares when the Toyota Auris, the successor of the Corolla, will go on sale in Egypt. The Auris
already proved himself as the new leader in its segment when he won a comparison test against eight other competitors in a German car magazine, including the
Volkswagen Golf, which only came second in this comparison test.
Alongside the AUDI stand you will find the Volkswagen
stand which will among others host the VW Touran Cross and the current VW Golf (V). After only 5 years of production the successor of the current Golf, the
Golf VI, will be arriving to the showrooms worldwide next year 2008
XX Formula 1: No McLaren Mercedes team order during Monaco F1 GP
In a press statement Vodafone McLaren Mercedes F1 Team confirmed again that the team did not breach the International Sporting Code at the Monaco Grand Pix
2007 and as a result is pleased that the FIA, following an extremely efficient, professional and thorough investigation, has confirmed that the teamï?½s
actions were entirely legitimate.
Press comments following the Grand Prix focused in two issues: the fuel strategy and the allegation that the drivers were not allowed to race each other. The
FIA investigation shows that these criticisms were not justified.
Ron Dennis, Chairman and CEO, McLaren group said: ï?½The entire team was understandably disappointed that the outstanding drives from both Fernando and Lewis
resulting in a great one-two victory and McLarenï?½s 150th win was temporarily tarnished. The efficient intervention and subsequent inquiry of the FIA into the
allegations of the last three days has removed any doubt about the manner in which
XX Raid 4x4 Egypt: 3000 km through untouched Desert dunes
At a recent press conference and group meeting held at the Solaimaneya Resort the first details and route of the 3000 km long ï?½Raid 4x4 Egyptï?½ were released
by raid organizer Hisham Nessim, a veteran desert explorer. The raid will start in Taba, passing through Sharm El Sheikh, Hurghada, El Wadi El Gedid, Siwa,
Bahariya Oasis, Fayoum and then arriving at Cairo. The raid will be divided to three stages, each stage one week and taking place mid October 2007. Part of
the participant fees will be donated to children hospitals and orphan homes in the cities through which the raid will go through. For more info click
www.Raid4x4Egypt.com or www.AutoArabia.org/raid or send an email to Raid4x4Egypt@AutoArabia.org
XX Road Safety & Safe Driving Campaign on OTV and Nile Channel
After the dramatic increase in accidents numbers in the recent months on Egyptian roads which was accompanied by a shocking number of fatalities and
injured people, it was only a matter of time until a Road Safety & Safe Driving campaign would be initiated.
Spearheaded by AUTO ARABIA magazine and organized by a group of car experts, road & planning experts and other active members a Road Safety & Safe
Driving campaign was initiated in order to help decrease the unacceptable number of road accidents and fatalities through engaging different NGOs and NPOs,
several companies through their Corporate Social Responsibility programs and the concerned Egyptian ministries. A feature about the campaign, its members,
the activities and goals will be aired on OTV television channel (5.6.2007, Masaak Sokar Zeyada program, 6.30 pm) and on Nile Channel (6.6.2007, Direct from Cairo program, 10-12 pm).
If you have any comments, suggestions or any other inquiries regarding the Daily Star Egypt & Auto Arabia supplement then please send a fax to +202-33470841