Ministry of Industry and Mines announced in Tehran on Saturday that over 340,300 vehicles were produced in the country in the first half of the current Iranian year (started March 21), IRNA reported.
The ministry's public relations department reported that the automobile production toped 71,963 units in the Iranian month of Shahrivar (August 23-September 22).
The figure included 301,640 units of automobiles, 27,839 vans, 4,536 trucks and other types of vehicles.
It said the total volume of machinery, and other facilities of factories, industrial projects also stood at 181,000 tons in the first half of the year.
Minister of Industry and Mines Eshaq Jahangiri here last month said that with the 30 percent growth, the automobile industry registered the highest growth rate among all the sectors in the economy in the last Iranian year (ended March 20).
Speaking at the inauguration ceremonies for opening of three new assembly lines at 'Iran-Khodro' Industrial Group, he added that the sector will play a pivotal role in the country's industrialization drive.
He said the outcomes of the right policies, including increased attention to quality, price, after-sale services, competitiveness as well as schemes to enter into joint production with foreign automobile and parts manufacturers are beginning to pay dividends.
He said there are about 2,000 parts manufacturers in the country and the number of automobile produced will increase from the 500,000 units last year to over 700,000 units this year.
The industry employs about 500,000 people, Jahangiri said adding that the companies in addition to removing technical defects are striving to compete in international markets.
On the environment issue, Jahangiri said the companies have also taken important steps to upgrade their environmental standards and meet international regulations.
In a related news, applications by over 25 private companies seeking permission to establish automobile factories are currently in the final stages of assessment by relevant organizations.
According to the Head of the Industrial Development and Renovation Organization (IDRO) Reza Veisseh, neither IDRO nor the Ministry of Industries and Mines have any reservations about issuing production permits raising the prospect for the active presence of the private sector in the auto industry in the very near future.
The IDRO head said a special committee is to submit within a month, a list of car makers to be authorized to import. "As soon as the list is completed, imports will get underway."
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