During the third session of the Egypt Automotive Summit, businessmen in the car industry criticised and questioned a number of factors set by the Cairo governorate that concern establishing the New “Car City” project.
The New Car City is going to be a car market in Kattameya where new and used cars can be sold. It will also include a compound for banks and a Notary Office in addition to car service centers and car show rooms, according to Deputy-Governor of Cairo Mohammed Ayman.
According to the governorate’s proposal, the new city will be established over an area of 60 acres using the usufruct system for 20 years.
Chairman of El-Sabaa Automotive Alaa El-Sabaa criticised the space and said the project will be very small and will not be able to accommodate all car show rooms in Egypt, especially since a large part of the space will be used for insurance and financing service centres that are specialised for car purchasing.
Al-Sabaa further indicated that most car companies have expressed their opposition to the 20 year period usufruct system and that the time span is very short for investors. It usually takes five to ten years for car companies to introduce the new place for their clients and actually have a good customer base.
Chairman of Abu El-Magd Automotive Osama Abu El-Magd agreed with Al-Sabaa and added that the new city will not be able to host more than 70 factories, given that the number of showrooms in Egypt is up to 6,000.
Abu El-Magd also said the 20-year usufruct system eliminates the idea of establishing a new city because the showroom owner spends millions of pounds for marketing a place, which he would be forced to leave after 20 years.
The city of Cairo is a highly populated city and lands are very scarce in it, Ayman said, he also noted that the area of land for the new city can accommodate 7,000 residential units: “It has been allocated, however, to the car industry to solve a major crisis”.
On another note Ayman said that multi-storey garages will be established in the city of Cairo and an auction will take place by the governorate that would allow the private sector to participate in the projects. The conditions of contract for the auction have been prepared and ten areas in Cairo have been selected for offers.
Cairo suffers the fact that the streets and public space is narrow compared to the increased growth of population, which has lead to the overcrowding of cars on the streets.
“Regulations should have been made for putting traffic related liquidity controls as part of the automotive industry strategy”;Ayman said. Putting his idea in a more specific manner, he said the strategy should have included the establishment of multi-storey garages as the ones that are already available in the districts of Al-Bostan, Al-Opera, and Al-Attaba in downtown Cairo. In western Cairo alone, 148 parking spaces need to be established.