TEHRAN (Fars News Agency)- Iranian Industries and Mines Minister Ali Akbar Mehrabian left Tehran Friday morning for Egypt to attend an inauguration ceremony marking the official launch of operation of the assembly line of Iranian Peugeot Pars passenger car in the African country.
Speaking to reporters prior to his departure from Tehran’s Imam Khomeini Airport, Mehrabian said that during his visit which would take place at the invitation of his Egyptian counterpart, the two sides were scheduled to attend talks to help promote Iran-Egypt industrial ties and cooperation.
He also stressed that he was not conveying any political message from the Iranian government.
Mehrabian, who is accompanied by managing director of Iran’s first auto-maker ‘Iran-Khodro’ – producer of Peugeot Pars – and head of the Iranian Industries Development and Renovation Organization, further noted Iran and Egypt’s ancient civilizations, and attached much significance to the establishment of industrial relations between the two Muslim nations.
He said that during the trip, he and his accompanying delegation would attend meetings with a number of Egyptian officials and ministers, adding that he would also attend talks with Egypt’s private sector industrialists and businessmen in a bid to further expand Tehran-Cairo industrial and trade ties.
The minister expressed the hope that the visit would serve as a milestone in the development of industrial and trade relations between the two Muslim countries.
Iran-Khodro is a leading auto-manufacturer in Iran, exporting its products to a large number of world countries. In its latest marketing move, the company has just started exports of the latest model of its home-manufactured passenger car ‘Samand’ to 32 different countries.
These 32 countries are among established customers of Iran-Khodro, which had already imported Samand LX and GLX. According to Iran-Khodro managing director, the company has planned to manufacture 8,000 Samand Suren in the next few months, 1,200 of which would be exported to the aforementioned countries.
Manteqi had also said that Iran-Khodro has plans to export 600,000 cars and USD10 bln worth of products by 2016.
“To achieve this goal, we have decided to double our exports,” he added during an interview with FNA earlier this fall.
Manteqi said that Iran-Khodro’s exports amounted to USD150 mln and USD315 mln in 2005 and 2006, respectively, adding that his company would export USD600 mln worth of products in the current Iranian year (ending on March 20th, 2008).
‘Samand’ trade name is now registered at the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).
Iran-Khodro group, the Iranian car manufacturer and owner of Peugeot Pars, Samand and a number of other passenger cars, is the first Iranian company whose product is registered at the WIPO.
The state will ensure against the fraudulent use of the name, industrial design, and copying of the product manufactured by the company worldwide.
Azerbaijan, Belarus, Syria, Vietnam, Venezuela and China are among the many world countries which either have asked for or are already assembling Iran-Khodro’s popular Middle-Class automobiles.
Meanwhile, many other world countries, including Turkey, Bangladesh and Pakistan are considered as established importers of petrol and gas-powered Samand models with left and right-hand steering-wheels.
Marketing researches have shown that given the financial capability of the African and South Asian markets and the competitive advantages that Iran enjoys, Iran-Khodro can gain a foothold in these markets in a relatively short period of time.
The company has other automobile production ventures with foreign countries and companies in a bid to market share for increased exports to regional markets.
Many countries in east Europe have invited Iranian auto-makers to their markets. Croatian Ambassador to Tehran said earlier this year that the people of East Europe are waiting for the Iranian-made passenger cars.
She also said that after the launch of operation of Samand assembly line in Azerbaijan and Belarus, the manufacturing company, Iran-Khodro, now has better chances for gaining access to the CIS and East European markets.
According to the diplomat, Iran-Khodro officials have announced that they would soon start exports of Samand to Poland, while the company is now studying other East European markets, including Romania and the republics of former Yugoslavia.