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Iran in talks with 4 carmakers

Source: Press TV

Hashem Yekeh Zareh, IKCO CEO (File photo)

The CEO of Iran Khodro Industrial Group (IKCO), Iran's leading car manufacturer, says IKCO is in final talks with four major foreign companies to set up joint ventures.

Hashem Yekeh Zareh said IKCO has finalized a new contract with its French partner, Peugeot, which will be inked soon.

Under the new agreement, IKCO will have access to Peugeot's export market via setting up a joint venture, said the Iranian official.

"Iran Khodro has resumed cooperation with Renault. Ties will also be expanded with Japanese auto maker Suzuki. Also talks with a German automaker have already reached final stage," said IKCO chairman.

Yekeh Zareh described Iran's car market as "lucrative" for foreign companies. He predicted that more foreign automakers will request to enter Iranian market in coming months.

"Iran will have cooperation with companies which seek to set up joint ventures. We don't want to simply produce cars... It is not in interest of our auto industry to manufacture cars under the license of French carmakers. We seek to develop production through partnership," said IKCO managing director.

Iran Khodro is the biggest vehicle manufacturer in the Middle East, Central Asia and North Africa with the current production capacity of 600,000 vehicles a year. The company produces a variety of vehicles, including Samand, Peugeot and Renault cars, and trucks, minibuses and buses.

Despite being subject to years of unilateral sanctions in recent years, Iran is still seen as the largest car producer in the Middle East.

Iranian officials have recently unveiled plans to modernize the automotive industry via technology transfer.

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