EGYPT: BMW pulls employees as violence spirals
BMW has pulled its German nationals from Egypt as demonstrations for and against the incumbent President turn ever more violent.
The German automaker is the latest multi-national to suspend production as tens of thousands of pro and anti President Hosni Mubarak protesters faced off in lethal exchanges last night (2 February) in Cairo's Tahrir Square.
BMW operates in Egypt through subsidiary Bavarian Auto Manufacturing Company (BAMC) to produce 3, 5 and 7 Series models as well as X3 and X1 vehicles with a total - including imports - of some 3,200 units sold last year.
"We had two German families working for BMW - both are not there any more," a BMW spokesman in Munich told just-auto, adding the automaker had made provision for them to leave Egypt.
"It is very difficult to say when we will start again - we will wait to see how the situation develops," he added. "Of course we are in constant contact and we watch very closely."
BMW noted its assembly of 1,800 units in Egypt was "significant" especially added to imports, which gave a total of 3,000 BMWs and 200 Minis.
BAMC was BMW's original importer to Egypt before becoming its local assembly partner in Cairo's 6 October industrial zone.
Calls to the Egyptian Automobile Manufacturers Association in Cairo by just-auto went unanswered again today.