EghtesadOnline: Russia’s UAZ auto company, which announced its entry into the Iranian market during the Tehran Auto Show in February, is to begin production in Iran in 2018, according to a company representative in Moscow.
UAZ export director Andrey Dorofeyev, confirmed previous comments by the Iranian partner, Tavan Khodro Jey, that his company is pushing ahead with plans to create the first joint Irano-Russo auto production line in the country, according Interfax News Agency.
“With respect to our future production in Iran; the UAZ Patriot and Cargo is due to be produced with our partner Tavan Khodro Group” Dorofeyev said.
The Cargo is a single cabin pickup able to carry a box on the rear, while the second pickup variant is a double cabin version. The Patriot, however, is a rough and ready 4x4 vehicle intended largely for the harsh Siberian weather, Financial Tribune reported.
A representative from Tavan’s Esfahan office said in February the Patriot will be priced near 1.1 billion rials ($28,900), while the pickups are estimated to cost around 800-900 million each ($20,000 - $23,000).
Meanwhile in Russia, the UAZ Cargo and Pickup sells for 609,000 rubles ($10,487) and the Patriot goes for 809,000 rubles ($13,800).
Speaking about plans for production localization, Dorofoyev said cars that will be produced in Iran will go through a localization process.
The official noted that the company will have to reduce the engine capacity of future vehicles it sends to Iran as there is a ban on cars with engines above 2.5 liters. The UAZ vehicles on show at the Tehran car show were all 2.7 liters.
“These vehicles cannot be imported as a finished product [long term], for us to sell we need to have the assembly [in Iran].
We signed a distribution agreement with them [Tavan Khodro] for 1,000 cars after we received an approval certificate in Iran. We will finish preparation of documents by mid-March. Assembly in Iran will allow us to cover Iraq and Afghanistan,” he added.
The move by UAZ is part of a wider long-term goal by the company to expand its presence beyond the traditional Russian markets and the CIS states.
Dorofeyev told reporters in Moscow that his company has also teamed up with a Vietnamese producer to sell the Patriots and Pickups in that country.