Khodrocar – Iran and South Korea both entered the automotive industry in 50s and their way of development were different. If we want to mention the Korean’s first presence in Iran, Kia Pride is the symbol of it which entered the market in 90s. The car is the heritage of Koreans in Iran’s market and is the symbol of Kia Motors’ slogan: The power to surprise.
Nobody would have thought that after two decades, this vehicle is still being produced in Iran. Also its platform have been improved in safety and different models of domestic cars have been built on this platform.
Their bold presence in Iran was after Iran’s nuclear deal. They considered Iran as a new market, although trace of their old presence in Iran was obvious with Kia Pride and Rio.
However, the Koreans were always keen to stay in Iran in a way that they announced even if Iran exists JCPOA, they will stay in this country.
Cooperation of Kia Motors and Saipa
One of the first collaborations between Iran and South Korea dates back to the arrival of the Pride in the Saipa lineup of the 1990s. This car is actually a Koran-Chinese-American and slowly named as an Iranian car. Pride was produced in Japan for the first time, then it was produced as "Ford Festiva” in United States. Then South Korea started to produce this car.
From the year 2000, it was decided that Kia Rio replaces Pride. So within 20 years it turned into a domestic car and Saipa received its production license. After Iran’s Nuclear Deal, Saipa succeeded to assemble the second generation of Kia Cerato (Forte) in Iran.
Cooperation of Kerman Motor and Hyundai
This is the most important and huge cooperation between Iran and South Korea. Before JCPOA, this company was assembling two Hyundai models in Iran: "Avante” and "Verna” which has stopped due to the sanctions. After JCPOA, this company started to import the models "i10”, "i20”, "Azera”, "Elentra”, "Accent”, "SantaFe” and "Tucson” and also constructed assembly lines for "i10”, "i20” and "Accent”.
These two cooperate with each other in the field of commercial and diesel vehicles. However, Iran Khodro has inked a contract with Hyundai for the production and installation of a 6-speed automatic gearbox on their products.
Atlas Khodro: Official Dealership of Kia Motors
Atlas Motors Co., as the first official representative of Kia Motors in Iran began its cooperation with Korea since 2007, This company offered different models like Sportage, Sorento, Optima, Cerato and Carenz.
New Birth of SsangYong Motor by Ramak Khodro
After assembling few models like Muso and Rexton in 2000, this time Ramak Khodro named as the official dealership of SsangYong in Iran in the year 2008. This led to the entrance of models like Tivoli, Korando, Actyon, XLV and Rexton G4 to Iran.
According to the latest news, this company wants to start producing Tivoli in the near future.
Khodrocar Reporter: Fazel Suri
Khodrocar Translator: Maziyar Jafarieh