Iranian Auto Manufacturers Eying The Russian Car Market


Moscow and Tehran have signed a memorandum of understanding for Iranian car exports to Russia valued at US$300 million, according to Mohammadreza Najafi-Manesh, the Chairman of Iran’s Association of Auto Parts Manufacturers.

Iran Khodro, the largest carmaker in the Middle East, is eyeing the Russian market following the exodus of European, American, and Japanese brands. Many foreign car manufacturers found it difficult to continue operations in the country after deliveries of cars and spare parts to Russia ceased due to their own Governments sanctions.

The Iranian carmaker assembles revamped models of Chinese Haima and Dongfeng brands. Last year, the country launched the Tara Sedan (pictured) based on the Peugeot 301, while other new models using the Peugeot and Citroen as prototypes are coming.

According to data from Russia’s Autostat agency, there were 10,400 Iran Khodro cars in Russia as of July 2022, which are represented by the Samand model (a Class C sedan), a car based on the Peugeot 405.

Iran, which has been under Western sanctions for decades, has also been forced to cut reliance on foreign car imports after parts and supplies were stopped when the US reimposed sanctions on the country in 2018. However, it has managed to develop its own automotive industry that caters to its domestic demand and is now looking at export markets. Russia, with annual car sales of about 1.7 million during normal trading conditions, looks set to fit Iranian auto manufacturers expansion.

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