CAIRO - General Motors Co and Egypt's Al Mansour Automotive Co have agreed to study joint manufacturing of electric vehicles in Egypt and, once finished, ask the government for support, Mansour Automotive Chairman Mohamed Mansour said on Wednesday.
Under a memorandum signed on Wednesday, the two companies will study production requirements, volumes and incentives they might need from the government, Mansour said, without specifying what shape those incentives might take.
"Government support of some kind, to see how we can work together. That will be a new capital investment that we make on our side, and of course hopefully using Egypt as a hub to export to Africa," he said.
"We will start with a team and hopefully within the next two to three months come up with a concrete study to present to the Egyptian government."
GM International President Steve Kiefer said in a statement about the agreement that the Mansour partnership is key to the U.S. automaker's global growth strategy.
The Ministry of Public Enterprise last month said the government was prepared to pay a subsidy of 50,000 Egyptian pounds ($3,190) to buyers of locally made electric cars.
The government plans to build a network of 3,000 charging stations around Cairo and Alexandria over the next two years.
State-owned El Nasr Automotive suspended a plan to build electric vehicles in partnership with Chinese car maker Dongfeng Motor, but plans to search for other partners, the ministry said.
Mansour Automotive has been General Motors' dealer in Egypt since 1975 and has been manufacturing GM vehicles since 1983 through their joint company General Motors Egypt.
"We have to be ahead of the curve. And this is what we are doing," Mansour told Reuters before Wednesday's signing ceremony. ($1 = 15.6600 Egyptian pounds)
(Reporting by Patrick Werr, additional reporting by Ben Klayman in Detroit Editing by Sonya Hepinstall and Cynthia Osterman) ((email@example.com;))