Iran unlikely to call halt to gasoline imports

Jun 21, 2004 02:00 AM

Minister of Oil Bijan Namdar Zanganeh says the country is unlikely to call a halt to its gasoline imports.
"Gas-fuelled vehicles will drastically save fuel but we are condemned to import gasoline," Zanganeh told.
The minister said that auto making industry should move towards the state-of-the-art technology because "production of gas oil and gasoline costs highly for Iran. Iran holds huge gas reserves and we will boost our production of gas-fuelled cars by dependence on these cars," Zanganeh said.

France's Peugeot has signed deals with Iran Khodro, the Middle East's biggest auto producer, to make new versions of its hit 206 and 307 cars in Iran. Peugeot and Iran Khodro are to make a new version of its compact 206 car within two years. The two firms also agreed to launch a new version of the 307 hatchback in two to three years.
Peugeot expects annual sales of the car to reach 700,000 by 2010, with almost half of that number coming from Iran, where Renault will start making the model in 2006 with a consortium that includes Iran Khodro.

Iran Khodro controls around three-fifths of the country's car market, which totalled some 700,000 vehicles in 2003 and where supply falls chronically short of demand. The company is keen to form more partnerships with foreign partners to grow big enough to meet demand at home, where the market is dominated by its own boxy and gas-guzzling Paykan, and to supply the whole region.
Iran Khodro and peer Saipa Auto already produce Citroen, Nissan and Kia Motors cars under license. Zanganeh said Iran is supposed to produce between 700,000 and 800,000 cars per annum.
"Iran will stop production of Paykan and replace them with Logan."

Source: Tehran Times
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