Mashhad Hosts Int’l Auto Expo

Mashhad Hosts Int’l Auto ExpoMashhad Hosts Int’l Auto Expo

The northeastern city of Mashhad in Khorasan Razavi Province is hosting Iran’s 16th International Auto Exhibition.

Featuring national and international firms, the exhibition opened on Monday, the local automotive website Asre Khodro reported.

Scheduled to continue until Friday, the event is hosting 131 domestic and foreign firms.

According to Ehsan Arakani, CEO of Mashhad International Expo, in addition to major Iranian firms, auto manufacturers and related companies from across the globe, including Germany, Japan, South Korea, the UK and China, are participating.


With a significant presence in the exhibition, Iran’s second largest automotive group SAIPA had several announcements to make.

Mehdi Jamali, the company’s CEO, explained the details of SAIPA’s joint venture agreement with Citroen.

He said that in accord with the 50-50 joint venture, SAIPA-Kashan, a subsidiary of SAIPA will sell 50% of its shares to PSA Group’s Citroen brand, “which is a first in Iran’s auto industry”.

Noting that SAIPA’s collaborations with IVECO and Zamyad are already underway, Jamali announced that SAIPA’s former deal with Nissan has been renewed and it “will be launched in the near future”.

The official also announced that the joint products made by SAIPA and the two Chinese auto firms Brilliance and Changan will soon be available in the Iranian market.

In order to negotiate a deal with Korean-based company, Kia Motors, Jamali said he will be travelling to South Korea in the coming weeks.

SAIPA has a long history of collaboration with Kia. The company was one of the few that did not cut ties with Iran due to the imposition of sanctions by the West over Iran’s nuclear energy program.

Although IKCO’s joint venture with Renault has been sealed, Jamali confirmed that SAIPA is still trying to sign a parallel agreement with the French auto manufacturer. This decision has been criticized by several state officials and independent commentators who believe parallel agreements could potentially reduce competitiveness in the auto industry.

Highlighting the general policies of the company, SAIPA’s CEO said the company has done its best to stay in line with the production and export policies set by the Ministry of Industries, Mining and Trade.

“We have implemented several schemes to safeguard the deals with foreign companies. One of the main measures implemented was conditioning deals to 50% foreign investment,” he said.

“If Iran faces a new wave of sanctions, the foreign companies would think twice before suddenly leaving Iran as they did in 2006, since leaving would mean a vast financial loss.”

Jamali added that the deals stipulate that 30% of the vehicles produced under the joint ventures will be exported through the foreign counterparts’ sales networks.


At the same event, Zamyad Khodro announced that the company plans to expand collaboration with Italy’s IVECO.

Zamyad Khodro is a subsidiary of SAIPA and manufactures pickup trucks. It is the official representative of IVECO, the Italian industrial vehicle manufacturing company that designs and builds light, medium and heavy commercial vehicles, as well as city and intercity buses among many others.

Zamyad and IVECO had previously offered a range of trucks and buses in Iran, namely TurboStar, Eurotech, Tarkker and Stralis. This year, Iran will be receiving IVECO’s heavy-duty truck Starlis 500.

Cooperation between Zamyad and its Chinese counterparts Dongfeng and Yuan Xiaokang is ongoing, with the companies jointly producing minivans, panel vans and pickup trucks in Iran.


Iran Khodro Company, Iran’s largest and oldest auto manufacturer, is presenting many of its models.

At the exhibition opening, Mohammad Reza Motamed, IKCO’s vice president for engineering (and CEO of the IKCO-Peugeot joint venture known as IKAP) outlined details of the deal signed between IKCO and the French company to reporters.

According to IKCO Press, Motamed announced Peugeot 2008 would enter Iran’s market in March 2017 as IKCO’s first joint product with Peugeot, adding that the sales of their second product, the Peugeot 301 sedan will be launched in March 2018.

“In the first production phase, at least 20% of the required technology will be indigenized,” he said.

With PSA investing over €300 million, the deal signed on June 21, 2016, restored contractual relations for the production of Peugeot-branded vehicles currently sold in Iran.

Under the deal, PSA is obligated to assist Iran in the export of jointly produced vehicles to other regional countries.


Also present at the Mashhad Auto Expo was Modiran Vehicle Manufacturing Company (MVM), which represents the Chinese brand Chery. It unveiled two new models at the expo: an updated version of MVM X33 and Arrizo 5.

MVM X33 is a local variant of China’s Chery Tiggo 3 that was released in 2015.

The company plans to reveal two other models by the end of the current Iranian year (March 20, 2017), namely an SUV named MVM X22 and a new face-lifted version of earlier products.