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1,000 Mercedes Benz E350s to go on sale in Iran this year

TEHRAN, May 30 (Mehr News Agency) -- Mercedes Benz plans to produce 2,500 passenger cars per annum in Iran and preliminary assembly work has been underway since May 9, the executive director of Top Khodro Company said here on Tuesday.

"About 1,000 E350 models are going to be available to the market by yearend, and the first cars are to roll off the assembly line by (the Iranian month of) Shahrivar (September-October)," Ali Jafari stated, adding that experts forecast demand for Mercedes Benzes to hit 5,000 to 8,000 in the near future.

In addition, the Setareh Iran Company has assumed responsibility for after-sales services, and there is at least one modern service shop in every major city of Iran, he pointed out.

Pilot production started last year in SKD (semi-knocked down) form and, with 1,744 parts to assemble this year, the 80-percent complete body and chassis line will reach the CKD (completely-knocked down) stage soon.

Mercedes Benz production in Iran is a 50-50 joint venture between the German car maker and Top Khodro, which is a subdivision of Iran Khodro Company (IKCO). Iran Khodro Diesel, another subsidiary of IKCO, takes care of all the investment for the Iranian side.

It should be noted that the paint jobs are being done in Iran, and, depending on the options offered, the price tag of the automobile may reach 160,000. Financing is available up to 80% at an interest rate of 20-21 percent.

... Payvand News - 5/31/06 ... --

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