The Daily News Egypt

ELF-branded lubricants will not compete with other brands in Egypt: Al Manar CEO


- By Yara Al-Ganayny

Al Manar Trading & Distributi­on Company (AMTD) has signed an agreement with Total Egypt to exclusivel­y distribute ELFbranded lubricants in Egypt.

The company, which is a subsidiary of Al Manar Group, will distribute 20 lubricant products, including engine oils, gear oils, hydraulic oils, and other automotive fluids.

Ahmed Nawara, managing director and CEO of Al Manar Group, said that the ELF-branded lubricants “will be fully manufactur­ed inside Total plants in Borg El Arab, Alexandria.” He noted that Elf is ranked second in terms of lubricants in the Maghreb region.

Nawara explained that Total Egypt has chosenAl-Manar to be the exclusive distributo­r of its products due to its significan­ce presence in the distributi­on and marketing sector, stressing that the company does not aim to compete with any other brand. Al-Manar will not sponsor the Africa Cup of Nations and will not launch advertisin­g campaigns to market the products.

“Egypt’s investment climate has gained more attraction in various fields including engine oils, as evidenced in the keenness of major global corporatio­ns and entities to have a presence and invest in Egypt,” Nawara said.

Nawara said that ElF-branded lubricants have already been traded in Egypt, but the new agreement will localise the mixing and packaging process in Egypt, so the products will be available at more affordable prices. He pointed out that the raw materials of lubricants will be imported fromTotal Internatio­nal, but the mixing and packaging will be conducted in Egypt.

Nawara pointed out that AlManar has a strong distributi­on network for French car parts, including Renault, Peugeot, and Citroen, since 1975. It is also the official distributo­r of Bendix oils, which ranked first in terms of brake fluid in the Egyptian market. He noted that ELF has 46 years of presence in Formula 1, with the exception of last year only.

He asserted that Al-Manar does not intend to enter into competitio­n with Shell,Total, or Mobil, though it aims to acquire a bigger market share of the Renault spare parts as well as the diesel market.

Al-Manar will not receive even 1% of the market, which contains 700,000 tonnes of different oils, but the main objective is to succeed in marketing the new product that proved to be successful in similar countries, such as Morocco, Tunisia, and Algeria, especially as these countries have factories to assemble Renault models, which always come with ELF lubricants.

He added that all the Renault companies around the world are contractin­g with the Total ELF, except Renault Egypt which is contractin­g with Total Lubricants.

Nawara said that Al-Manar is not allowed to contract with the agents of car companies or petrol stations, as Total, the product producer, can contract with Renault Egypt for ELF oils, contrary to Al-Manar, which is responsibl­e for the exclusive distributi­on of the new product in the Egyptian market, not factories or petrol stations.The company is not allowed to contract any product except for Bendex and Forma under the terms stipulated in the contract with Total.

Nawara said the new product is equivalent to Total, Shell, and Mobil in terms of quality, all of which are of a global standard. And Total Internatio­nal is the manufactur­er, so the price will be the driving force for ELF to acquire a market share.

Al-Manar will support the new product with its dedicated centres in the future plan. It will also market the product through sales teams consisting of 11 cars belonging to Al-Manar.Al-Manar will indirectly distribute the new product through a group of roving vehicles in the governorat­es of Egypt to introduce the new product to consumers. Al-Manar will also have a representa­tive


in all Renault service centres to introduce the new products.

The trader is a key factor used byAl-Manar to market the product.Al-Manar seeks to establish a suitable profit for the merchant to properly market the product and specifical­ly to the owners of Renault cars.Al-Manar will first market the product to the merchant before marketing it to the consumer through rewards and gifts.The package of Elf indicates that it was manufactur­ed by Total, which will boost consumer confidence in it.

Furthermor­e, Nawara confirmed that the company intends to expand outside Egypt into Libya and Sudan, if ELF proves successful in Egypt, as with the Bendix brand, after its success in Egypt. Moreover,AlManar was granted the Bendix distributi­on agency in Madagascar in February.

On the impact of the exchange rate on ELF products, he said that it will not be affected by the decline or appreciati­on of the dollar because the company buys the product from Total in local currency, while the rest of the company’s products have been affected by the decline in the dollar price. He pointed out that the new product does not conflict with the rest of the company’s products because the new product is special for motor and gear oils, while Bendex is a brake oil.

Moreover, Nawara said the recent boycott campaign did not affect the Egyptian oil market. He pointed out that the oil and spare parts sector deals with used cars, not new cars that start changing oil or replace spare parts after 10 years from the date of purchase,noting that as electric cars increase on the streets, Al-Manar will offer the necessary spare parts and oil.

The company also recently introduced Forma as a brake oil and a Forma transmissi­on oil last month. It will launch a new product under the same brand every six months. He noted that the company put a 10-year plan for the brand, as it is now considerin­g to work in the spare parts sector under the Forma brand or issue a new brand for spare parts to keep Forma as a brand for lubricants only. The company will make a decision on this in the future.

Total Egypt is a subsidiary of French energy giant Total, establishe­d in 1998.The company is active in the entire petroleum product distributi­on value chain, including general sales, lubricants, marine, and aviation, as well as retail.

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Ahmed Nawara

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