EghtesadOnline: Iran Khodro, Iran’s largest carmaker, announced on Saturday that its Samand sedan production in its Iskandariya plant in central Iraq is now producing 45 to 50 units per day.
IKCO said in a press release it has been producing the Samand in the city southwest of Baghdad for the past few years. However, production of vehicles – mainly used as taxis in the Iraqi capital – have remained static in recent years due to the ongoing conflict with the insurgency and terror groups afflicting the war-ravaged Arab country.
The other car currently produced for that market is IKCO’s Peugeot 405, while the company introduced the Arisun pickup to that Iraqi market in 2016. Production figures for the two vehicles were not announced.
Due to the lack of affordable cars in the Iraqi market, many Iraqis with less income prefer Iranian vehicles due largely to their low price, Financial Tribune reported.
The two biggest Iranian automotive producers (IKCO, SAIPA) see the Iraqi market as their quickest path to growth outside the home market, with both companies selling low-cost vehicles including the Saipa Pride and Tiba, as well as IKCO products.
However, according to bestsellingcarblog.com, the best-selling vehicles in the Iraqi market are South Korea’s Kia models.
The Kia Frontier pickup truck was the best-selling vehicle in that market through 2016 with a 19.5% share, while the Kia Sportage crossover was the best-sold four-door car in the previous year with a 7.6% share of the overall market.
In total, 28,788 vehicles were purchased in Iraq during 2016 with the new vehicle registrations falling 48% y/y, according to the website.