Khodrocar – after USA auto industry falling, European automakers became the best producers in the world and we can observe their path and impact in our auto industry and auto market. With a look at the history of Iran’s auto industry we can see the presence of different automakers in Iran which invest heavily but leave Iran after political tensions to keep themselves safe from loss. For instance Peugeot and Renault leaved and came back for several times.
Peugeot first came to Iran in 1990 and launch a production line of a French automaker in Iran for the first time. However they were in Iran before revolution with some products like 504 and 404. After launching assembly line, producing Peugeot parts started under SAPCO in 1994. Peugeot brought new ways of production and supplement and they had the biggest impact on Iran’s auto industry.
Their products became the backbone of auto industry after Peykan but in 2012 and after political pressures they decided to leave Iran and even cut their relation for part with IKCO. This decision was too much for Iran’s auto industry and Peugeot suffer huge loss.
After the JCPOA, Peugeot was interested to come back to Iran but our auto industry had its own conditions this time. CEO of IKCO asked for investment from Peugeot to start a new production line in Iran and it was a condition for Peugeot to come back to Iran. This time both sides were agreed to sign joint venture contracts with a 50-50 share and start a new company called ICAP. However after Trumps speech they decided to leave Iran very soon with its partner Citroen.
The presence of Renault in Iran is historical and the date of first Renault imported to Iran back to 1918 but after the revolution and production of Renault 5 they became more famous in our market. Except from Renault 5, they became a partner of IDRO in 2002 to be the strategic partner of Iran’s auto industry. They agreed on establishing a joint venture called Renault Pars and it was very first joint venture contract of Iran’s auto industry. in 2006, they signed another joint venture contract with Iran to produce chassis of Renault products in Iran.
The first product of Renault Pars was, Tondar 90 in 2007 and then in 2010 Megan’s production started in Iran. In the same year Renault succeed to produce Tondar 90 engine in Mega Motor in Pars Khodro and IKCO. In 2013, Renault passed the 400 thousand productions line.
In 2016, Iran and Renault relation moved to a new level during Paris auto show. They agreed on a new MOU with IDRO for new joint venture, building technical center, buy Renault’s products to support Iranian part makers, starting selling and after sale services network and producing two fo new models in Iran. Duster and Symbol entered to the assembly line of Renault Pars. Now with sanctions restorations they announced to leave Iran.
Renault imported cars
Despite from Renaults cooperation with Iran’s automakers they are importing some products to Iran like Talisman, new Megan, Koleos and Fluence. Negin Khodro is the official representative of Renault in Iran since 2008.
Citroen and DS
SAIPA started its activity in 1966 by assembling Citroen products in Iran. Producing Xian continued to 1980 but after the revolution, Xian was an old car and its production discontinued. After a long absence, Xantia joined the production line of SAIPA but supplying the parts became difficult after the company discontinued the production of this model. After that C5 imported to Iran by SAIPA. After the JCPOA they came back to Iran after 39 years and start negotiations and even SAIPA Kashan changed its name to SAIPA Citroen and C3 was the only production of this factory.
After the JCPOA, sub brand of PSA which named DS select Iran as a potential market and established its 3rd showroom in the world in Iran. Some of their products such as DS 3, ، DS 4 Crossback،DS 5، DS 5LS،DS 6WR and DS 7 Crossback has been imported to Iran.
German companies have a great impact on Iran’s auto industry because opposite to what you think, IKCO start its activity by producing Mercedes Benz products in Iran. in 1963, they had 302 bus on the production line and alongside IKCO, Khavar was producing Mercedes Benz trucks.
They didn’t cut their relation with Iran even after the revolution and their golden days were during the government of reformation. They brought latest and high technology products to Iran and produced E and C classes in IKCO. They launched Setare Iran company for sale and after sales service in Iran in 2003. After political pressures increased, Mercedes Benz decided to cut its relation with Iran and pay 150 Euro as indemnity instead of staying in Iran.
After the deal, which resulted in the return of many automotive companies to our country, the Daimler Automotive Group again in early 2016 concluded a nonprofit contract for the distribution of Mercedes-Benz trucks in Iran with Iran Khodro which didn’t have an ending.
First appearance of Opel in Iran was by Corsa model which we are seeing some old models of them in streets. Opel never had a continuously presence in Iran’s market and the representatives were never usful in importing Opel’s products. Even after the JCPOA Opel products never imported to the country. Some of Iranian companies such as Tavan Khodro and Sapra Khodro had the representation of Opel in Iran but they never succeed in their duty.
It’s another German brand in Iran which was popular but they never had a share in market. The only model that has been assembled from the Volkswagen in Iran to this day is the Hatchback Gol, which was provided by Kerman Motors Company about 15 years ago. They produced near 11 thousands of Gols in Iran.
After the JCPOA, Volkswagen decided to export its products to Iran instead of starting an assembly line in the country. So their representation in Iran start the procedure and import some models such as Golf, Passat and Tiguan.
Next to companies which produced some models in Iran and had assembly lines there are some companies which looked at Iran as an exporting destination. Some of these companies are BMW, Mini, Audi, Volvo, … . Of course, whispers of Jaguar Land Rover brand have also been heard in recent years, and the sales representative of the two brands opened at the four-way Tehran-Tehran Parks has signaled that now, with the introduction of a car import ban law, we must wait for change. The use of this commercial entity is in the picture of Jaguar Land Rover products.
Khodrocar Reporter: Fazel Suri
Khodrocar Translator: Amin Zamani