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EghtesadOnline: Iranian carmakers are set to develop ties with the countries of Eurasian Economic Union, a deputy industries minister said this week.

During a trip to Armenia, Mojtaba Khosrotaj also told reporters that since December 2016, Iran Khodro has exported 4,000 cars to Armenia, IRNA reported from Yerevan.

Visiting IKCO’s sole showroom in the Armenian capital, Khosrotaj said Iranian carmakers are set to expand their market in EEU countries, namely Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan.

The showroom in Yerevan was opened on December 18 and offers several cars, including Dena, Runna and Soren, in addition to Arisun pickup truck, according to Financial Tribune.

According to Director of IKCO’s Armenia Branch Reza Nafezi, “The firm’s vehicles have to compete with low-cost [Chinese and Russian] rivals. Standard after-sales services and availability of quality spare parts can help IKCO build a suitable market share in the country.”

IKCO was granted EEU’s Eurasian Conformity certification for its cars in February, allowing the company to develop new export markets and revive its former position in markets, including the northern CIS countries and Russia.

The Eurasian certificate indicates that the products conform to all technical regulations of the Eurasian Customs Union assessment procedures. It is allocated to six sedans produced by IKCO, including Soren ELX, Samand ELX, Soren Turbo, Runna, Dena and 206 SD.

IKCO can now sell in CIS markets with custom exemptions, which should make its cars more price competitive against imports from China.

The company established a foothold in the Caucasus region in 2008, but pulled out after economic sanctions were imposed on Iran over its nuclear program.

In addition to IKCO, Iran’s second largest automaker SAIPA is also aiming to expand its ties with the Armenian automotive sector and is set to export cars to the country.

During the visit, Khosrotaj and Veronica Nikishina, the EEU trade minister, in Yerevan signed Iran-Eurasian Economic Union draft agreement concerning preferential trade that encompasses 350 Iranian industrial items as well as 180 items from EEU.

However, Iranian automakers have their work cut out for them, as according to several online secondhand car sales websites, Iranian cars like Samand and Runna, are often cheaper in the Caucasus than in Iran. 

Iran Auto Eurasian Economic Union Iran auto industry EEU Iran-EEU Iran-EEU trade