EghtesadOnline: Iran Khodro and SAIPA are planning to expand their overseas operations. SAIPA is poised to increase production in Syria and IKCO has started manufacturing its Samand model in neighboring Azerbaijan.
IKCO has established a joint venture with Azeri automotive company AzerMash OJSC named Khazar Car Company. The company is based in Neftchala, 168 km south of Baku.
Khazar manufactures the Dena sedan. According to IKCO Press, the JV started production of another Samand model during the weekend.
IKCO’s rival SAIPA also has plans to expand its presence in Syria. A SAIPA production unit opened in the Arab country in 2007 and is based in the Industrial City of Hassia in Homs. The company says it wants to increase both production and models in the country, according to Financial Tribune.
IKCO Azeri JV
The project between IKCO and AzerMash was conceived in 2016 and 24 million manats ($14 million) have been invested in the project. According to reports, 75% of the investment is from the Azeri side.
Khazar factory opened in March during a state visit by President Hassan Rouhani to Azeri republic. He was accompanied by Azeri leader Ilham Aliyev during the inauguration who commended the JV as “a manifestation of Iran-Azerbaijan relations.”
With an initial annual production capacity of 10,000 units, Khazar has said it will increase output to 15,000 units.
The models manufactured at the factory are budget cars popular in Iran, among which is Dena, and an upgraded version of the model Dena+. Dena made at Khazar Car Factory cost 14,000-16,000 manats ($8,200-$9,400) depending on options.
Over the weekend, production of another budget sedan model Samand was launched at the Khazar car factory, IKCO Press reported. Currently, 10 units of the model are produced in the factory every day and the number is expected to reach 30 units.
Furthermore, IKCO has built closer ties to Azeri auto parts makers and the private sector and plans to launch auto parts production lines in the country.
SAIPA’s Syria director, Mohammad Alavian, tells Tasnim news agency that “The war in Syria hampered SAIPA’s operations there between 2012 and 2015. Fortunately, by the end of 2015 production plans got back on track and production gradually increased. In 2017, SAIPA produced and sold over 1,000 vehicles in Syria.”
The firm currently manufactures the Pride hatchback model in Hassia Industrial City. According to Alavian, SAIPA is set to increase variety of vehicles in Syria and plans have been drawn as per which small city cars Saina, and Quick along with the Chinese-derived Zotye S300, and Brilliance H320 and H330 are to be assembled and sold in Syria.
He pointed out that SAIPA is set to produce Tiba instead of Pride in Syria. Tiba is another small city car made by SAIPA which is of slightly better quality compared to Pride.
“SAIPA plans to increase its automotive output to 8,000 units per year in the country,” Alavian added.
The official elaborated on car prices in Syria. SAIPA’s Pride manufactured in Syria is the cheapest car available in the market. The model is sold for 4.4 million Syrian liras ($8,543). “The cheapest car in Syria after SAIPA’s Pride is priced 6.9 million Syrian liras ($13,398).”
According to Alavian, while the Syrians purchasing power has been dented significantly during the war years, SAIPA has been able to maintain its share in that country’s car market.