EghtesadOnline: Syrian Labor Minister Rima Qadiri said the production of Iranian vehicles has resumed in Syria.
Speaking to reporters during a visit to Tehran, Qadiri said the sedan Samand designed by Iran Khodro is currently produced in Syria under the brand name Shaam, Fars News Agency reported.
“Syria’s automotive factories were damaged in the war. The plants are being repaired,” she added.
The vehicle is being produced in cooperation with Iran Khodro (IKCO) at a plant known as Siamco in Damascus. Siamco was launched in March 2007 and used to produce several models before the outbreak of the Syrian war in 2011, according to Financial Tribune.
Reportedly, the war damaged the factory and halted the production of IKCO cars in Syria.
In addition to Samand, several other models were also produced at the factory, including Peugeot 405, which was assembled from imported parts.
Iranian Cooperatives Minister Mohammad Shariatmadari said, “We have tried to refit the facilities and relaunch production. We aim to give a boost to the Syrian auto industry. So far, we have been able to restart the production of Samand [in Damascus].”
IKCO is not the only Iranian car company operating in Syria. The firm’s domestic rival SAIPA is also active in the country.
SAIPA and its Syrian partner SIVECO have announced plans to produce the Chinese-derived sedan Brilliance H330 in Damascus, Aleppo, Latakia, Homs and Hama.
A SAIPA production unit opened in the Arab country in 2007 in Hassia Industrial City in Homs.
A video posted by SIVECO on Facebook in March 2019 shows the assembly line of Brilliance H330 in Syria.
The vehicles will be sold in Syria by Armada Company. According to Fahd Darwish, the company’s director, 1,000 H330 units are to be sold this year.
SAIPA’s Syria director, Mohammad Alavian, told Tasnim News Agency, “The war in Syria hampered SAIPA’s operations between 2012 and 2015. By the end of 2015, production plans were back on track and production increased gradually. In 2017, SAIPA produced and sold over 1,000 vehicles in Syria.”
In addition to the H330, the firm also manufactures the Pride hatchback model in Hassia.
According to Alavian, SAIPA plans to increase the variety of its cars made and assembled in Syria, including Saina, and Quick along with the Chinese-derived Zotye S300 and Brilliance H320.
In future, SAIPA plans to manufacture Tiba instead of Pride in Syria. Tiba is another small car made by the SAIPA, which is qualitatively a notch better than Pride.