First Iranian-made Renault hit the road

13th June 2007, Comments 0 comments

TEHRAN, June 13, 2007 (AFP) - Iranian motorists on Wednesday began to take delivery of the first Renault Logan cars made in the country and sold under the brand name Tondar-90 -- "Thunder" in Farsi.

TEHRAN, June 13, 2007 (AFP) - Iranian motorists on Wednesday began to take delivery of the first Renault Logan cars made in the country and sold under the brand name Tondar-90 -- "Thunder" in Farsi.

Twenty customers who had prepaid for their cars and won a lottery to be among the first to get their vehicles were presented with the keys at a special ceremony in Tehran.

The manufacturer said some 85,000 Iranians registered in March to buy the new car by paying deposits of 5,400 dollars (4,050 euros) each.

"Tondar is being manufactured by two automobile companies, Irankhodro and Saipa, adhering to international quality standards," the French managing director of Renault Pars, Andreas Gabriel, told AFP.

The new car is a joint venture between Renault, which has a 51 percent stake in the project, the industry ministry's Industrial Development and Renovation Organisation of Iran (IDRO) and the government-owned Irankhodro and Saipa.

"Currently Irankhodro and Saipa make 1,500 cars per month, and this will reach 10,000 vehicles a month by March 2008," Gabriel said.

"We will reach a production level of more than 200,000 vehicles for the next Iranian year" between next March and March 2009, he added.

The Tondar will be sold in three variations, with the entry model costing the equivalent of 8,970 dollars (6,750 euros), rising to 11,430 dollars (8,600 euros) for vehicles with more options.

Under the joint venture deal, which Renault signed in March 2004, 20 percent of the new cars must be exported, but because of high demand inside Iran exports will not begin for another three months.

The Tondar venture, with a total investment of some 300 million dollars, is the largest investment by the French motor manufacturer in Iran since the Islamic revolution of 1979.

Iran has become a significant producer of cars in recent years, according to Mehdi Mofidi, director general of IDRO.

"Irankhodro and Saipa produced 1.1 million cars during the past Iranian year (to March 2007), making Iran the sixteenth largest automobile manufacturer in the world," he said.

Iran produces Peugeot 405s and assembles the 206, and also makes South Korean and Japanese cars under licence.


Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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