Iran mulling joint car production with Russia – ambassador

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Tehran is exploring the possibility of undertaking joint automobile production with Moscow, Iranian Ambassador to Russia Kazem Jalali has revealed.

Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, he said that the sides were discussing the issue and expressed hope that the plans would be realized.

Jalali noted that the two major Iranian automakers, Iran Khodro and SAIPA, both of which participated in an auto parts exhibition in Moscow this past summer, have also held talks with Russian partners.

In late November, the head of the Iranian association of auto parts manufacturers, Mohammadreza Najafi-Manesh, announced that Moscow and Tehran had signed a memorandum of understanding for Iranian car exports to Russia valued at $300 million. He said that Iran Khodro, the largest carmaker in the Middle East, is eyeing the Russian market following the exodus of European, American, and Japanese brands.

According to data from Russia’s Autostat agency, there were 10,400 Iran Khodro cars in Russia as of July 2022, which are represented by the Samand model (a Class C sedan), a car based on the Peugeot 405.

Despite being under Western sanctions for decades, Iran has managed to develop its own automotive industry that caters to domestic demand. The country was also forced to cut reliance on foreign car imports after parts and supplies were stopped when the US reimposed sanctions on the Islamic Republic in 2018.

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