Fiat to launch Siena in Oct.

July 30, 2007 - 0:0

TEHRAN (PIN) -- Italian carmaker Fiat and its Iranian partner, Bonyan Auto, have ironed out problems that delayed their plans for the local assembly of the Fiat Siena sedan, the first of which is now scheduled to roll off the Iranian production line in October.

Under the agreement signed in 2005 between Fiat and the Pars Industries Development Fund, the Iranian partner was supposed to build a new factory at a cost of about 275 million dollars, with a capacity of 100,000 cars, and manufacture various Fiat models, reported. The new venture was named Bonyan Auto, but nothing had been heard about it since then. The companies say Bonyan will start by producing taxi versions of the Siena and ambulance versions of the Doblo van. The Multipla minivan, Strada pickup truck, and other Fiat models are planned for later. Bonyan will offer CNG fuel options for all models. If the joint venture succeeds, it is highly conceivable to view the Siena as a competitor to Iran’s most popular car, the Kia Pride, and another newcomer, the Renault Logan. Meanwhile, the second Iran-China auto exhibition will be held in Tianjin, China’s third largest city. According to IRNA, the exhibit, which is slated for Sept. 7-10, will showcase Iran’s auto products. A number of Iranian experts and businessmen involved in auto industry will attend the fair to provide the Chinese with an insight into the latest achievements of domestic carmakers. Iran and China have had cordial relations in different arenas, more so after the victory of the 1979 Islamic Revolution. Iran has become China’s top crude supplier, overtaking another Middle East country, Saudi Arabia. Organizer of the event, Yan Jianlai told IRNA that the exhibit is aimed to make both sides familiar with latest achievements attained in auto and spare parts industries. Pointing to the growing Tehran-Beijing relations, the official hoped that bilateral cooperation will expand, particularly in the auto sector