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Egypt Forces Old Korean Cars Off the Road

Posted August. 20, 2008 07:32,   


"My 27-year-old Pony taxi is still running strong."

Fawzi Zawar, a taxi driver in Cairo, Egypt, is brooding a lot lately.

The Egyptian government early this year stopped renewing the licenses of any taxi vehicle older than 20 years to curb air population.

A Reuters article described Zawar’s strong affection for his Pony yesterday, saying Egyptian taxi drivers who drive old sedans made in the former Soviet Union and Asian countries including Korea are in trouble due to the new regulation.

Zawar bought his Pony in 1995 for 12,000 Egyptian pounds (2,300 U.S. dollars) from a second-hand car market. He proudly said his car has had few major problems and that he earns 600 pounds a month.

Though the taxi has peeling paint and broken door handles and window knobs, it still runs on Cairo`s roads and earns him good money, Reuters said.

"I won`t change it unless they force me," Zawar said. “My Pony is still robust and buying a new car is too much of a burden for me.”

Korea stopped producing the Pony more than 20 years ago and now keeps them in a museum in Seoul. This model, however, remains a favorite for many Egyptian drivers and earns them money on the streets of Egypt.

Five Ponies exported to Egypt in early 1980s were even shipped back to Korea in 2006 for “May 18,” a film about the 1980 Gwangju Democratic Movement.