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EghtesadOnline: Iran Khodro Company, the largest automaker in Iran, has started the presale of its new Peugeot 2008 crossover without announcing the final price.

IKCO is now taking 600 million rials ($16,000) as down payment for the car, Asbe Bokhar reported.

According to laws governing auto presale in the country, carmakers may not receive more than 50% of total price as deposit; thus the $16,000 down payment indicates that the car is probably going to be sold for at least 1.2 billion rials ($32,000).

This price was backed by Yadollah Mirakholu, director of monitoring at Consumers and Producers Protection Organization (CPPO), who said the new vehicle could be sold for $32,000, adding the final price depends on factors such as foreign exchange rates and wages, Financial Tribune reported.

This is while on April 27, the head of IKCO had stated that the price for Peugeot 2008 would be 900 million to 1 billion rials ($24,000 to $26,600) depending on the options.

Earlier unconfirmed reports had put the vehicle’s price at around 750 million rials ($20,000).

ICKO’s partnership started with the French giant automaker with the purpose of introducing vehicles of higher quality into the market and at “lower prices,” in line with the policy to get rid of poor quality cars.

However, the seemingly creeping price of the 2008 is likely to put off many buyers who had thought the car’s price would be in the same range as mid-ranking Chinese vehicles.

The Peugeot 2008 is a compact SUV that will have to take on tough competition from the likes of the Renault Captur, Kia Soul and Nissan Juke. All of these front-wheel drive cars offer an SUV-like stance, urban-appropriate supermini dimensions, and low running and purchase costs.

Iran Khodro Iran Auto Iran auto market Peugeot 2008