Iran is not the first country that springs to mind when you think about nations involved in vehicle manufacturing, but they are by far the biggest new-car producers in the Middle East.
The final figures are not in, but Iranian vehicle production is expected to eclipse 1.1 million units for the 12-month period that ended March 21, 2007 (Iranian calendar starts March 21).
Passenger car production accounts for approximately 84% of that total with over 55% of the passenger car production coming from manufacture of the Pride sedan by various companies, a re-working of an old Kia hatchback model whose tooling was purchased in the late 1980’s through a joint venture agreement. The Pride is far and away the most popular-selling car in Iran, and production is split between both gasoline and CNG (compressed natural gas). Manufactured in Iran by Iran Khodro, one of the manufacturing companies and Iran’s largest car company, the Pride is joined in production by the Peugeot Roa, Peugeot 405, Peugeot 206 and Peugeot Pars. The company also builds Samand, Peugeot RD and Peugeot 405 CNG passenger vehicles. SAIPA, the second-largest auto manufacturer is responsible for Pride CNG production.
Another manufacturer, Kerman Khodro Co. produces a few thousand Volkswagen Gols, Hyundai Vernas, Hyundai Avantes and Chinese Matizes annually. Additionally, other manufacturers make a few thousand buses and truck each, with the combined totals coming to about 30,000 commercial vehicles.
Production is expected to increase again in the next 12 months as more production capacity comes on line in Iran.
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