Renault Kwid on the Way

Renault Kwid on the Way Renault Kwid on the Way

Renault has announced plans to produce Kwid in Iran to replace the aging Kia Pride.

Peyman Kargar, director of the local subsidiary Renault Pars, said, "For this vehicle to replace Pride in Iran, over 85% of it need to be manufactured locally. Kwid is the most preferable option to replace Pride."

Boasting modern technology and high safety, it will be priced at 250 to 300 million rials ($7,300 to $8,750 at market exchange rate), Eghtesad New reported.

Since Pride is currently offered at 200 million rials ($5,800 at market exchange rate), the sales of which have slumped because of the online campaign against domestic cars for being overpriced, the Iranian reception for Kwid remains to be seen.

Though Kwid is touted as a "reasonably-priced car" for Iranians, the car sells for under half that price (just over $4,000) in India.

Kargar, who did not mention a release date, said the production of 100,000 Kwids annually is not farfetched and "we aim to produce 300,000 of the vehicles within the next few years".

Alongside Kwid, Renault Pars is planning to manufacture Symbol, Sandero, Koleos, Captur and Duster so as to expand its range of products in Iran.

The company might produce Clio and Captur through Iran Khodro, the leading Iranian vehicle manufacturer, and Duster and Koleos via Pars Khodro, the first manufacturer of sport utility vehicles in Iran.

Kargar noted that with the addition of these new products, the company will need new factories and production lines to be able to meet its production goals.

>Long-Term Plans

Earlier in September, Renault said it would invest €500 million in Iran by the end of the month.

The company added that it has prepared a comprehensive business plan to set up an engine factory inside Iran to lower their overall costs.

At the time, Renault also said that it is looking at the possibility of entering into partnership with a new Iranian auto company.

The French company currently works on one production line to produce the L90 (Tondar 90 or Dacia Logan) model in conjunction with IKCO and Pars Khodro. It will also start production of a new face-lifted versions of L90 and L90 pickup at IKCO while the small hatchback Sandero will soon be launched in Pars Khodro.  

Renault Middle East had previously said the company plans to mass produce and export these models from Iran, counting it as a major export hub for the Middle East, Caucasus and Central Asian regions.

> Investment History

In 2004, Renault made the largest investment in Iran's auto industry since the Islamic Revolution in 1979. The company invested $1.5 billion in a joint platform.  

However, during the first term of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's presidency, complications caused by his government put an end to the project. Despite this and the ensuing western sanctions on Iran over its nuclear energy program, Renault was the only French company that never left the country and continued operations albeit on a smaller scale.

Not surprisingly, Renault is expected to be a beneficiary of the economic turnaround expected after the lifting of sanctions in early 2016.