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Iran: Mercedes-Benz production to start in September

Tehran, July 2, IRNA-Mercedes-Benz E-Class cars will be produced in Iran as of September, Tehran bureau of the giant German carmaker, Daimler Chrysler announced Friday.

According to the English-language `Iran Daily', the assembly line has been set up and will be launched in September.

photo: ISNA

Production of Mercedes-Benz cars was scheduled for May, but `delays in starting the work is natural in joint ventures', said the office adding that the company has invested five million euros to establish Mercedes-Benz Iran in cooperation with Iran Khodro Diesel, a major heavy vehicle manufacturer, which has had close relations with the German carmaker in the past few decades.

Mercedes-Benz Iran is the largest joint venture with a foreign party in Iran's automotive industry, second only to Renault Pars.

Iran Khodro Diesel has a stake of 50 percent in the project. The German side has undertaken to provide after-sales services.

Mercedes-Benz cars are expected to sell 400 million euros a year in Iran. Some 500 E-Class Mercedes-Benz cars will be produced here by March 2006. Production will reach 2,000 units a year as of mid-2007.

Daimler-Chrysler's country director said earlier that Iran will soon start production of sophisticated 900-class Mercedes-Benz engines, stressing that the company will export Iran-made engines to Germany.

Jurgen Kurtz said that Iran is already exporting C457 engines to Germany.

He said the company is determined to continue cooperation with Iran despite its strong partnership with the United States.

Kurtz said Daimler-Chrysler is planning to equip Iran's intercity transport fleet with modern vehicles.

"Iran's bus market is controlled by Mercedes-Benz at present and the company will produce new generation vehicles in Iran to modernize the transportation fleet," he added.

Kurtz said the 40-year-old cooperation between two companies is now at its peak.

"However this partnership looks like a martial relationship, in which there could always be some differences," he said.

... Payvand News - 7/2/05 ... --

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