Auto Store, affiliated to ALJ Auto Jameel, plans to expand its network to six branches by the end of the year. The expansion plan will start with opening a new store in the Green Plaza district, Alexandria, on an area of 800 sqm in the first quarter of 2020.
The company will also launch a new strategy early 2021 that aims to “change the scene of used cars in Egypt.”
ALJ Auto Jameel is the agent of Ford sales, services, and genuine spare parts in Egypt. It launched Auto Store to allow customers to buy, sell, and replace their used vehicles, offering payment in instalments.
Omar Hassan, director of Auto Store sector in ALJ Auto Jameel, said the company offers all types of cars for sale, whether new or used, working under the slogan “new and used under one roof“.
The company has been working in Egypt for four years in the field of used cars only, and achieved big success that prompted it to expand its activities to include new cars. “Auto Store will not be a distributor of specific brands, but it will work as a dealer to sell all brands in the Egyptian market,” he added.
Car agents require distributors to have an integrated service centres that offer spare parts and maintenance services, in addition to showrooms to display new brands, known as 3S – centres which offers sales, service, and spare parts – which is not available in some Auto Store’s branches.
Hassan pointed out that the company is cooperating with all banks and insurance companies to secure car loans and provide various payment plans that meet customers’ needs. The company aims to attract all segments of consumers, through offering all car brands.
Auto Store buys used car and registers their ownership contracts, as the company does not accept conventional letters of authorisation as is the case in the used car market. This measure reduces manipulation and was supported by the new Traffic Law. Auto Store also offers full warranty on used cars.
Last year, the cabinet approved new amendments to the Traffic Law No. 66 of 1973 to encourage vehicle owners to transfer their ownership of cars in case of sale within a specified period.
The new controls obligate sellers to transfer the ownership of their used cars to the purchasers instead of the conventional letters of authorisation which allowed frequent reselling at limited duties. According to the amendments, “In any case, the ownership of a vehicle shall not be transferred except at the request of its owner or his authorised agent for only one time. A second authorisation may not be issued by the owner or his agent for the same vehicle. Ownership must be transferred within three months of the date of issuing the authorisation, otherwise it shall be deemed illegal.”
Moreover, Auto Store sets specific conditions for buying used cars, mainly its mileage (maximum 100,000 km) and car’s exterior and interior should not be affected with any accidents.
Hassan pointed out that the company inspects both the outside and inside of the vehicle, and examines the car’s ownership documents. In the event of minor defects in the used car, the company fixes at its Daihatsu and Ford service centres. Afterwards, the company prepares a full report on the condition of the car and repairs carried out by the company in compliance with the controls of the Consumer Protection Agency.
On a different note, Hassan said Auto Store intends to enter the electric cars market, when they spread enough in Egypt, explaining that the most important obstacle hindering their spread is the lack of charging stations. In addition, the state has not set a clear licensing mechanism of this type of cars.
Moreover, the local market lacks awareness of using and maintenance of electric and hybrid cars due to the shortage of trained labour in this field.
ALJ affiliates operating in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Turkey, was one of the first comoaies that offer financing solutions for electric vehicles, with an interest rate less than 1%.
Hassan predicted that the local car market will see recovery starting from February, especially after the frequent interest rate cuts and the decline in foreign exchange rate due to the improvement of the local currency, which will reflect positively on car prices and the purchasing power of consumers.