IKCO, Mercedes-Benz to sign cooperation agreement
Iran Khodro Industrial Group will sign a cooperation agreement with Mercedes-Benz in near future, said the CEO of IKCO, Hashem Yekke Zare while elaborating on the new rounds of IKCO’s cooperation with international auto-makers.
He went on noting that the hard times of Iran khodro under international sancations have come to an end and most foreign companies including German auto-makers are interested in expanding cooperation with IKCO.
Old and Current Patners
Yekke Zare cited Peugeot, Renault and Suzuki companies as Iran Khodro’s current trade partners saying IKCO plans to establish cooperation with a non-French European company in near future.
He emphasized that IKCO won’t roll out the red carpet for those countries not respecting Iranian nation’s rights.
The IKCO’s CEO also said the presence of foreign auto-makers in Iran poses a great danger for Chinese companies adding: Chinese cars may seem attractive because of their reasonable prices but they can not compete at all with European cars in terms of qualitiy and technical features.
He called Mercedes-Benz one of Iran Khodro’s old partner saying though the company cut its cooperative relation with IKCO due to Western sanctions, it is now seriously seeking to return to Iran’s market.
“Mercedes-Benz office would be opened in Tehran very soon,” he said adding :”We plan to sign a ten-year-old agreement with Mercedes Benz to produce truck, autobus and pickup with appropriate interior design.”
Yekke Zare also said Merces-Benz is set to buy 30 percent of IDEM Company adding IKCO and the German auto-maker would sign a five-year-old agreement to produce and supply cars.
Merces-Benz have expressed its willingness to buy 50 percent of Setareh Iran company’s shares which is another IKCO’s affilaits.
We Choose Strong, Reliable Partner
“22 percent of Peugeot’s globla slaes fall to Iran’s market. This makes Iran an attractive market for any company but Peugeot left Iran after western sanctions putting us in trouble. On the other hand, the company slashed about 8 thousands jobs,” said Yekke Zare.
He referred to the negotiations between IKCO and Peugeot over the past one and half year saying:”Our cooperation program has already been finalized and we will establish a joint company in Iran in near future. Based on the program, 30 percent of the company’s products would be exported by Peugeot. The company would also have a joint research center.”
Yekke Zare said Peugeot has to be responsible for his past treatement adding given the newly-created conditions, there is no guarantee that IKCO would sign an agreement with Peugeot.
“Several companies have expressed their willingness to cooperate with us. So we can choose a strong and reliable partner,” he said.
Cooperation with Volkswagen Group
Iran Khodro CEO called Volkswagen a global partner and the largest foreign company in China adding the company can be a reliable partner for Iran Khodro.
He went on noting that Iranian customers are most looking for vehicles with prices between 8 to 12 thousand US dollars saying: “Given their quality features, such vehicles would be about 30 percent more expensive than local vehicles.”
“Since last year, Iran Khodro stopped cooperation with Renault Pars and began working directly with Renault. The cooperation has paid off resulting in producing Captur, Clio IV and Kwid. We will begin producing about 150 thousands of Kwid each year in near future. Meanwhile, facelift version of Tondar 90 (Logan) would be supplied by the end of the current Iranian calendar year. We need to leave behind the previous patterns and produce new cars. To this end, Renault can play the role of spare parts and engine systems provider,” Yekke Zare said.
He said Chinese cars would make up only five percent of Iran Khodro’s products adding: “We need to adopt a new approach towards quality, price and services of our products.”
Iran Khodro’s CEO emphasized that the group’s policy has been profit-oriented so far saying: “We never export loss-making products.”
He noted that IKCO will continue its production abroad only if there is a reliable partner from private sector there.
“In Azerbaijan, a company has expressed its willingness to cooperate with us. We have reached conclusion on some issues. After talks are finalized, we would begin our export to the country,” he said.
He then talked about IKCO’s cooperation with Suzuki saying, the company didn’t stopped its work in Iran after sanctions.
He concluded that the company would continue its cooperation with IKCO on producing products such as Swift, Ciaz and Celerio models in Iran with the latest model (Celerio) in large number.