Geely to export CKDs for assembly in Egypt
Chinese carmaker Geely is reported to have entered an agreement GB Auto (Ghabbour Auto), a vehicle assembler based in Egypt, for the production for vehicles for sale in the country and the wider North African market.
Geely said last year that it was looking for logistics companies to provide it with a full range of services for CKD exports as it aims to set up more than 15 plants overseas by 2015 and hit a total annual production of 2m units.
According to a report in the Wall Street Journal Geely and GB Auto are targeting an eventual annual production of 50,000.
Geely and GB Auto plan to sell two Geely models in Egypt in the second quarter of this year before expanding into the wider North African region. The midsize Emgrand 7 sedan will be initially exported to Egypt as a finished vehicle in July from Geely’s plant in Ningbo and will be followed by the entry-level Gleagle Panda, made at Geely’s plant in Linhai. CKD shipments of the vehicles will commence in the third quarter for assembly at GB Auto’s plant in Cairo.
The Chinese carmaker operates six car assembly and powertrain manufacturing plants in its home market with a combined production capacity of around 300,000 vehicles per year. It saw export sales reach above 38,000 in 2011, up 76% on 2010 figures according to the company.
GB Auto records it has almost a third of the share of the passenger car market in Egypt. It has existing contracts with Hyundai, for which it is the exclusive Egyptian assembler and distributor, as well as Mazda, importing and distributing the Mazda2 as a completely built vehicle.
A slowdown in sales of domestically produced vehicles in China and a difficult time penetrating the European market has meant that Chinese carmakers are concentrating on exports to emerging markets such as Africa.
In December last year GM’s joint venture in China, SAIC-GM-Wuling, announced it would begin shipments of CKD kits of the Chevrolet Move to Egypt for assembly in the third quarter of this year (read more here).
Acumen secures Chevrolet deliveries in UK
UK finished vehicle carrier Acumen Automotive Logistics has secured a three-year contract with GM-owned Chevrolet for the delivery of vehicles to dealerships in the UK, including those in the Midlands, North of England and North Wales.
The contract includes the Cadillac and Corvette models produced in North America and Acumen is already collecting the vehicles from the Royal Portbury Docks near Bristol in the Southwest.
The news of the contract follows a significant upgrading of Acumen Automobile Logistics Midlands’ hub in Coventry, which has been undertaken in line with the company’s planned future expansion within the automotive logistics sector.
 Chevrolet is Acumen’s first contract with a GM company and also the first from Portbury. It will compliment the company’s existing traffic from the Midlands to the South and South West of England with anticipated annual volumes of between 5,000 and 10,000 vehicles including fleet vehicles.
Peter Raybould, director of Acumen Automotive Logistics said:
“We have been delighted to have been awarded such a prestigious contract and look forward to consolidating our ever growing reputation for excellence with Chevrolet. We have an increasing number of customers for whom we provide high quality, transport services for movements to UK ports and dealerships and plan to further expand our portfolio throughout 2012 and beyond.”
Changes at Vladivostok include increased throughput
Russia’s Commercial Port of Vladivostok (CPV) has seen the volume of imported cars, vans and commercial vehicles handled at its terminals increase by 12.5% to more than 85,000 units in 2011, compared to the previous year. The mix of new and used vehicles included more than 9,600 new passenger cars up 33% on 2010 imports, with Japanese vehicles accounting for 97% of total throughput and the remaining 3% from the US and South Korea.
“Vehicles are one of the priority cargo flows at CPV, and we hope for further increase of new cars imports,” said port spokesman Alexy Dovbysh.
The port’s automotive terminal features two berths capable of accommodating ro-ro vessels with 2,000 car-carrying capacity and is capable of processing 10,000 vehicles a month.
Toyota, Nissan and Mazda all use the port for deliveries to the Russian market. A portion of the US traffic was imported from the West Coast following the introduction of a new fortnightly service introduced by Fesco Transportation last year, delivering vehicles from the port of Tacoma in Washington state (read more here).
Fesco has wider interests at the port of Vladivostok and has increased its integration of CPV following the decision of the port operator’s stevedoring partner to pull out of the business in August 2011.
Controlling shares were bought by a pool of private investors established by VTB Capital and strategic development and operational management responsibilities were delegated to Fesco Transportation, according to Dovbysh.
“Fesco Transportation intends to complete the consolidation of shares owned by M-Port, which controls 95.6% of CPV’s shares,” Dovbysh told Automotive Logistics News.
The integration has also had an impact on the management of the CPV. In September [2011] CPV’s shareholders gathered for an extraordinary meeting in order to terminate the services of V. Pertsev, who was CEO of CPV, ahead of schedule. They elected as his replacement, V. Korchanov, general director of Fesco’s Vladivostok branch and its vice president of the Shipping Division.
GM cuts cost with reusable packaging
General Motors South Africa (GMSA)has started rolling out new returnable packaging for the export of aftermarket components from its suppliers.
Produced by packaging provider GoodPack the containers have been introduced to increase efficiency and minimise environmental impact said the carmaker.
According to Evan Dold, GMSA vice president of Global Purchasing and Supply Chain, component exporters could save more than a R1 million ($133,000) per year each by implementing the new containers, called ‘GoodPacks’.
“With more parts being packed into one container, fewer containers are needed and costs are reduced,” said Dold.
GMSA exports components such as catalytic converters, stainless steel exhaust components, electrical parts, car jacks, alloy wheels and door locks to the US, Mexico, Europe, South America, Australia and Thailand.
The use of the reusable containers means that there are reduced disposal costs at overseas destinations when collected from end users, explained Dold. “With a lower carbon footprint compared with other packaging types these containers provide GMSA with a green and environment friendly solution,” he added. 
 Dold went on to say that the new packaging will strengthen GMSA’s waste reduction goals.. Last year we reduced waste by 23% and with the latest packaging solutions, we will be in a position to reduce waste even further,” he said..
Benteler Automotive South Africa (BASA), based in Johannesburg, is one of the suppliers using the GoodPack containers..
According to Carles Cortes, managing director of BASA, the containers have several advantages, such as improved stacking as more boxes can be stacked on top of each other, reducing floor space usage by approximately 25%.
“The containers are also sturdier which diminishes the likelihood of damage to parts. Their design allows for easy packing of parts, improving the ergonomics of the operators,” said Cortes
GMSA intends rolling this out to more component export suppliers.