Automaker recently inaugurated a production line in Iraq
Iranian automaker Iran Khodro Industrial Group (IKCO) has exported 30,000 vehicles of different models to international markets since March 20, the company said in a statement.
In line with the new policies set by IKCO’s top management, the car manufacturer is prioritising the promotion of the national brand and assembly of the Runna, Dena and Soren models in its sites abroad.
IKCO has already selected which vehicles it will export to certain markets, after evaluating customer needs and the capabilities of competitors in those markets, said Saeed Tafazzoli, deputy CEO for export and international affairs.
Tafazzoli also noted that Iran Khodro was putting considerable effort into increasing market share overseas by achieving Euro 5 and Euro 6 standards, and equipping products with automatic gearboxes and diesel engines.
Earlier this year, IKCO inaugurated a production line for Arisun pickups in Iraq. According to Tafazzoli, the car manufacturer is now set to establish a production line for Soren cars in Iraq by March 20, 2017.
“Some strong rivals, most of them Chinese, have already entered Iraq’s market. They have established certain marketing policies including offering special services to their customers,” he said.
According to Iran’s Automotive Industry Outlook 2025, the Islamic Republic plans on stepping up automobile production to three million vehicles each year, of which a third are to be exported.
Around 14 million commercial and passenger vehicles ply Iran’s roads, according to market research institute GfK, and the country’s automotive sector is the second most active industry behind oil and gas, accounting for 10% of the GDP and 4% of its the workforce – some 700,000 people.
Iran’s domestic automotive market is also growing rapidly, with analysts Frost & Sullivan noting that more than 1.4 million cars were manufactured in the country by the end of 2015. It is estimated that 2.3 million vehicles will be sold in the country by 2020, at an 18% annual growth rate.
“Iran, by far, is the biggest automotive market in the Middle East,” said Subhash Joshi, industry manager for Automotive Practice at Frost & Sullivan.
“Now that the sanctions have been lifted, local authorities are more aligned to the ‘Made in Iran’ strategy, promoting Iran as one of the key exporting countries in the region. Opportunities in this vastly untapped market vary from Tier 1 suppliers to OEMs to service providers.”