2/25/2008

Iran’s leading auto manufacturer Khodro to invest in Turkey

Today's Zaman - Iran’s biggest auto manufacturer has decided against establishing production facilities in Bulgaria after its Turkish distributor, MYS Holding, convinced them that an investment in Turkey would be much more profitable. Planning to introduce its Samand brand automobiles to Europe, the Iran Khodro Industrial Group (IKCO) started the necessary studies to establish a manufacturing plant in Turkey, where almost all major global auto producers have facilities. IKCO General Manager Manoucher Manteghi said Turkey is also among the company’s primary targets for selling its vehicles. “Turkey is both a neighbor of Iran and a European country. We are still at the beginning of our plan, but we are eager to improve our business in Turkey,” he said. Iran Khodro and MYS will together invest an amount between 60 and 200 million euros. The Iranian company had first entered the Turkish market for the distribution of their products in 2004, but had difficulties at first in complying with Turkish standards. Now they are looking for an opportunity to produce here. Iran Khodro currently produces 1.2 million cars and exports half that number. The company’s goal is to produce 2 million cars in Iran in the middle term. Its general manager is well aware of the necessity of having a very strong supply industry for production of this size. “We are planning to make Iran Khodro a global player by 2012 at the latest, thus we need better international relations. We prefer Islamic countries for this, and Turkey and Malaysia have priority,” he said.