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Iran carmaker eyes expansion

Iranian automaker Kish Khodro said yesterday it had boosted production to 3,600 Sinad sport utility vehicles a year after initial tests and planned to set up more plants and introduce new models.

Gulf News

Iranian automaker Kish Khodro said yesterday it had boosted production to 3,600 Sinad sport utility vehicles a year after initial tests and planned to set up more plants and introduce new models.

"In about six months we will branch out into mainland Iran and set up one or two smaller plants to assemble the Sinad," said Mohammed Saffari, director of Kish Khodro Company, based on Iran's Gulf island of Kish, one of three free-trade zones set up to draw much needed foreign investment.

He said the company had manufactured 500 Sinads in the nine months to mid-December, while it fine-tuned its production, before raising output to the 3,600 vehicles per year level.

A small group of private Iranian investors hold 52 per cent of the $38 million joint venture, while a state development bank owns 41 per cent and BMS Management, a British engineering group that designed the vehicle, holds a seven-percent stake.

"We intend to introduce a four-door model, a coupe and a sports version of the Sinad in addition to the current two-door version," Saffari said in an interview.

"We expect our new models to be more attractive for younger drivers and the export market," Saffari said, adding that the Sinad had lower emission and better fuel efficiency than other locally made vehicles.

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