Iran, Azerbaijan plan to launch car joint venture within months (Exclusive)
Baku, Azerbaijan, Sept. 21
By Farhad Daneshvar – Trend:
Iran Khodro and Azermash are planning to launch the first Iranian-Azerbaijani joint venture for producing cars in near future, a senior official with the leading Iranian car producer told Trend.
"About 85 percent of the construction of the joint venture’s production line in the Neftchala industrial park has been completed and it will probably come into stream by the end of year," Sabina Nobari, director of America, Asia, Europe and CIS at Iran Khodro, said.
She added that a group of Iranian engineers are currently in the Neftchala industrial park to provide technical advice to Azerbaijani counterparts as the facilities there need to meet Iran Khodro’s standards.
The nominal capacity of the production line stands at 10,000 units per year and it is expected to produce about 5,000 cars in the first year after the inauguration of the first phase.
Nobari said the joint venture will produce Dena, Runna, Soren and Samand in the first phase.
Speaking on the sidelines of a fair in Baku on Wednesday, she said the company has exhibited several new products, including Tondar and i207 to Azerbaijani customers during the exhibition, aiming to pave the way for production of these cars in future in Azerbaijan.
The new products are expected to be produced after the inauguration of the second and third phases of the joint venture in the Neftchala industrial park.
It appears that Iran Khodro plans to grab a larger share from the car market of the CIS through cooperation with Azerbaijan.
The company officials last year told Trend that Iran Khodro had exported 26,500 cars to the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) over the past 10 years.
"Some 30 percent of the output of the joint venture is projected to be exported to the former Soviet Union republics," Nobari said.
Speaking about the company’s marketing strategy in Azerbaijan, the official said that after-sales services as well as inexpensive prices of the products would encourage the customers to purchase the cars manufactured by the joint venture.
Last year, Iran Khodro and Azeurocar, a subsidiary of Azermash, agreed to create the joint automobile plant in the Neftchala industrial park. The total cost of the project was estimated at $15 million.
Azermash founder Emin Akhundov told Trend that his company owns 75 percent of the joint venture and the rest belongs to the Iranian counterpart.