Iran-Khodro to Boost Global Sales
TEHRAN (FNA)- Iran's largest auto-manufacturing company, Iran-Khodro, announced that it plans to boost exports this year as part of its broader plans for hiking global sales.
"Expanding the new markets, specially in West Europe, increasing the existing market share and bringing more diversity to the portfolio of products are IKCO's solutions to maintain its competitive advantages in the market," IKCO's Deputy CEO for Exports Ali Reza Feizbakhsh announced.
The company has been able to export over 32,000 vehicles to more than 20 countries all across the world despite the current global economic crisis, he said.
"Exports to Africa in 2010 are certain and Nigeria will receive the first shipment of Samand this year," the official added, elaborating on the company's exports plans.
Feizbakhsh also stated that the company is eying export of 40,000 sets of cars this year.
The thirty percent growth in IKCO's global sales network has brought the title of Iran's 2009 top exporter to the company. Samand, Soren, Peugeot 405 and ROA are among the products exported by the company.
Iran's state-owned Iran Khodro is the largest carmaker in the Middle East, Central Asia and North Africa, with an annual production of more than one million vehicles of various models, including cars, trucks, minibuses and buses.
IKCO is also ramping up exports as it builds a global presence outside Iran.
Regional markets and the neighboring countries, including Iraq, Syria, Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, the CIS countries as well as Bulgaria, Switzerland, Eastern Europe and Turkey, are the main customers of the company.
IKCO in the past two years has also begun kit assemblies in Azerbaijan, Belarus, Venezuela and Argentina, with plans to add assembly in Egypt, Vietnam and China in the next year or two.
The vehicle of choice for most of these local assembly operations is Samand, a compact sedan based heavily on the Peugeot 405 platform and with the price starting at about $9,000. "Samand" is the Persian name for a local breed of horse.
Market observers believe that Samand could challenge future Chinese and Indian imports at the low end of the market.
Samand trade name is now registered at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).
Iran-Khodro group, owner of Samand, is the first Iranian company whose product is registered at the WIPO.http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.php?nn=8811051439