Mercedes-Benz exploring partnership with Iran Khodro

July 29, 2015 - 0:0

TEHRAN – Mercedes-Benz is exploring a partnership with Iranian carmaker Iran Khodro for manufacturing trucks, vans, and buses, Iran Khodro Chief Executive Officer Hashem Yekke-Zare’ said.

The German automaker may open an office in Iran within two to three months, Yekke-Zare’ said on the sidelines of a press conference in Tehran on Tuesday.

Iran Khodro may sign a 10-year deal with the German maker of commercial vehicles and luxury cars as soon as three to four months from now, he noted.

“Mercedes-Benz is an old partner for Iran Khodro, and it has announced to us its interest and readiness to work with us,” Yekke-Zare’ said.

***Volkswagen can be a good partner

Elsewhere in his remarks, Yekke Zare’ pointed out that Volkswagen can be a good partner for Iranian companies, adding that during the recent visit of German trade delegation to Iran, negotiations were held with the German automaker.

Representatives of the two giant German carmakers, Mercedes and Volkswagen, accompanied by tens of smaller companies, headed by Germany’s Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy Sigmar Gabriel, traveled to Iran on July 19 to discuss economic cooperation following conclusion of Iran’s nuclear talks with the P5+1 group. 

German companies will embark on boosting bilateral industrial ties and modernizing Iranian industries after sanctions are lifted against Iran, Gabriel said. 

The automobile industry is seen as Iran’s biggest non-oil sector. It accounts for nearly 10 percent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP).  

Latest data shows that Iran ranks 18th on the list of the world’s top auto manufacturers.  

The 2014 Production Statistics by the International Organization of Motor Vehicle Manufacturers (OICA) indicate Iran’s auto production increased by 46.7 percent in the 12-month period.  

Western automakers prepare to re-enter Iran’s car market after the removal of international sanctions. Earlier, European car-makers voiced an interest to resume their activity in the Islamic Republic’s auto industry.