Made in Cairo: London's famed double-decker bus

Made in Cairo: London's famed double-decker bus
Blog: In a rare piece of good news for Egypt's economy, a Cairo carmaker is manufacturing cutting-edge double-decker buses as part of a deal with Transport for London.
2 min read
17 Mar, 2016
London simply wouldn't be London without its crop of double-deckers [Getty]
It may be better known for exporting high-quality cotton, but Egypt is now understood to be producing an historic design icon of Western pop culture.

That's right, an Egyptian automotive company is producing dozens of London's famous red double-decker buses for export to the British capital, in a rare success story for Egypt's industrial sector, which has suffered a steep decline under the current administration.

Manufacturing Commercial Vehicles (MCV), according to Cairo's Ministry of Trade and Industry, has a contract to manufacture 60 of the buses, beloved by tourists and endured by commuters, making it the first time these vehicles have been produced outside of Europe.

The engines on the buses are hybrid, meaning they use a combination of fossil fuel (diesel) and electricity, made to meet European low-carbon and low-nitrogen dioxide emission standards known as Euro-6.

MCV first started working with Transport For London, the entity managing public transportation in the British capital, in 2011. At the time, a partnership agreement was signed to manufacture buses with a capacity of 63 seats.

Double-deckers were originally built in 1947 to replace the trolley buses used before and during the Second World War, and have since become a familiar sight on London's streets.

MCV has already delivered two batches from the total number of vehicles, and are currently working on production of the final batch.

MCV was founded in 1994 as a general agent for German automobile giant Daimler AG.

News of the deal to make the buses for London was announced recently by Egypt's Ministry of Trade and Industry.

Although this particular deal is a first for MCV, the Egyptian company has been steadily exporting its commercial vehicles for years.

Egypt's president, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who came to power leading a 2013 military coup, visited Britain last summer, but it remains unknown if the deal was signed during a trip widely panned by media, opposition and government figures as putting business deals ahead of human rights concerns.