Iran says deal with Renault ready to roll

12th May 2006, Comments 0 comments

TEHRAN, May 12, 2006 (AFP) - A suspended car deal between Iran and French giant Renault has been finalized and vehicles will soon start to roll off the production line, the deputy industry minister said on Friday.

TEHRAN, May 12, 2006 (AFP) - A suspended car deal between Iran and French giant Renault has been finalized and vehicles will soon start to roll off the production line, the deputy industry minister said on Friday.

The landmark deal has been suspended since April when Iran insisted the plan would only go ahead if it could export some of the Logan mass-market cars to the French automobile manufacturer's traditional markets.

"Based on the latest agreement made with the French side the production of (the Logan) L-90 has been finalized and its assembly line will soon become operational," state television quoted Deputy Industry Minister Mahmoud Hashemi as saying.

Hashemi said that by the end of the current (Iranian) year in March 2007 some 15,000 locally made L-90s will be produced.

However, a Renault source in Iran familiar with the talks did not confirm the claim from the Iranian industry ministry official.

"The discussions are going on in a positive atmosphere, and nothing has been finalized," the source, who declined to be named, told AFP.

Renault had previously only proposed that Iran export some car parts, but the Iranian industry ministry said last week Renault now agreed Tehran could export 20 percent of the Logan L-90 cars that would be made in Iran.

"In the final agreement, Iran has been awarded the right to export 20 percent of the Logan L-90 cars, plus 50 percent of the cars' components (that would be made in Iran)," said Hashemi.

The Iranian industry ministry had also warned Renault that it risked having another contract cancelled — for the assembly of the Mégane model scheduled for launch in May — if the disagreement over the Logan was not solved.

Renault struck a deal with Tehran in 2004 to produce the Logan as part of the joint venture of Renault Pars, the car giant's Iranian unit, and the Automotive Industry Development Co, which groups Iran's two main state-controlled carmakers, Saipa and Iran Khodro.

The joint venture, worth 300-million-euros, is the largest direct and long-term investment in Iran with a French company since the 1979 Islamic revolution.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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