Egypt’s biggest passenger car assembler, GB Auto, has established a US$80m joint venture to distribute Hyundai vehicles in Iraq.

GB Auto, which manufactures, assembles, imports and distributes vehicles for Hyundai, Bajaj , Mitsubishi, and Volvo told Reuters it was partnering with Iraqi Al-Kasid Group of Companies and estimated total sales to reach around 36,000 vehicles within a year of operations in Iraq.

“Together, we will import and distribute a wide range of Hyundai vehicles and spare parts and build Iraq’s leading after-sales service franchise,” chief executive Raouf Ghabbour said.

The company estimated the passenger car market in Iraq at 120,000-150,000 units per year.

Beltone Financial analyst Menatalla Sadek said: “The Iraqi market, despite the political instability, could sustain significant Hyundai sales”.

On 14 January, GB Auto said it had an exclusive agreement to import and sell Mazda-branded vehicles in Egypt.