EghtesadOnline: Iran's major carmaker Iran Khodro (IKCO) is planning to renovate 10,000 cabs in Tehran’s transportation fleet during the current Iranian year (started March 21).
According to the IKCO's Sales Manager Alireza Oskouei, the company has decided to help renovate 10,000 dilapidated taxis in the capital, IRNA reported.
"The number of new vehicles can increase, depending on demand and drivers' inclination to participate in the scheme," Oskouei added.
He called on related entities, such as Tehran Taxi Organization, Interior Ministry and Iran's Transportation and Fuel Management Organization, to support IKCO in this enterprise, Financial Tribune reported.
The latest taxi renovation scheme, dubbed “Nosazi”, was announced by the government in collaboration with local banks and carmakers in 2016. The scheme is in line with efforts to reduce the number of old taxis that add to the deteriorating air pollution in the metropolis.
To be eligible, cabbies were required to register their clunkers on the website Nosazi.org. After enrollment, each driver had to dispatch the old car to the scrapyard.
Applicants were loaned 200 million rials ($1,360) at an interest rate of 16%. The money was to be repaid in 48 monthly installments.
After the loan amount was reduced from the total price of the new vehicle, the driver paid the balance upfront.
However, the scheme has almost stopped due to the sudden hike in car prices over the past several months, as most drivers cannot afford to participate in the scheme. Authorities say the loan amount is to be increased.
There are some 80,000 vehicles in Tehran's taxi fleet, 17,000 of which have already outlived their usefulness and contribute to the worsening air pollution in the expanding city.
“The number of dilapidated taxis will exceed 27,000 within a year, if no effective measure is taken,” Alireza Qannadan, the head of TTO, said.