Following its successful car exports to Russia, Iran Khodro Industrial Group (IKCO), the country’s largest automaker, is attempting to expand its automotive business to additional countries despite US sanctions and has now turned its attention to India.
After seizing the opportunity to tap Venezuelan and Russian markets, the company intends to further expand car manufacturing in order to meet the demands of its partner countries. Khodro’s logistics manager, Leila Yusufi, showed optimism about expanding in India. She remarked:
“Certainly if India permits, we will enter the Indian market. We are currently able to produce 43 cars per hour and we are already sending our cars to Venezuela and Russia.”
When asked if Iran is encountering difficulties in the vehicle manufacturing sector as a result of US sanctions, Leila said:
“We have defeated that. There were many problems but we have been able to overcome the sanction, fortunately. But it was very difficult.”
IKCO is also planning to take new technologies from other countries, said Leila. According to IKCO, Iran produces about 85% of automobile parts in the country as Make in Iran products and the remaining 15% in other countries.
Iran, behind China, has been a major beneficiary of the exit of international automakers from Russia ever since its invasion of Ukraine. This has allowed Iran to export its domestically built cars in significant numbers. Mehdi Khatibi, the chief of IKCO, said last year that his company was seeking to sell more cars to Russia when both countries are struggling with West-imposed sanctions. Khatibi stated that within the next two years, Russia is expected to become Iran Khodro’s primary market.
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