Belgium’s Punch Powertrain is investing $27.5 million in the project.
 Belgium’s Punch Powertrain is investing $27.5 million in the project.

Gearbox Plant in Iran to Open With Belgian Investment

Belgian firm, Punch Powertrain, and IDRO have invested 80% and 20% in the factory respectively. As per agreement, 160,000 CVT automatic gearboxes will be manufactured annually

Gearbox Plant in Iran to Open With Belgian Investment

The first CVT transmission manufacturing factory named 'Qova Moharekeh Punch Powertrain Iran' will be inaugurated on February 7 in Zanjan, northwestern Iran, in a deal with a Belgian firm.  
A continuously variable transmission (CVT) does not have cogs in it, like most gearboxes. Instead, it uses two pairs of metal cones, each arranged pointy-end-to-pointy-end. One set of cones is attached to the engine, and the other is connected to the wheels. A belt is then hung between these pairs of cones to drive the movement. It is known to be more efficient on fuel consumption. 
The foreign partner is Belgium's Punch Powertrain, said Fardad Daliri, a deputy for the industrial investment development office, affiliated to the Industrial Development and Renovation Organization (IDRO), Shata News reported this week.
Punch Powertrain is an independent full-system supplier of fuel-efficient transmissions with bases in Belgium and the Netherlands.
The Belgian firm and IDRO invested 80% and 20% respectively, Daliri said. As per the deal, 160,000 CVT automatic gearboxes will be manufactured annually.
Financial Tribune contacted Punch Powertrain by email for comment on the investment. There was no response apparently due to the weekend. 
As part of the contract, 40% of the products will be made locally and 30% will be exported. Moreover, a R&D center for applied engineering will be set up to help fit the new gearboxes to cars.
Daliri said that the decision to set up the company for manufacturing the new gearboxes was made following market research.
Negotiations were held with numerous foreign firms to find a suitable partner.
>Boosting Local Industry
Head of Zanjan's Industries, Mining, and Trade Organization, Nasser Faghfouri says the move could potentially transform the region's auto industry.
"This is the first time such an industry has been created in the country as Iran has no history in manufacturing CVT gearboxes."
In the first phase Punch Powertrain will invest 1.1 trillion rials ($27.5 million) in the plant that will create 100 jobs.
"The project will be executed in three phases and by the end of the final phase 1,000 jobs will be created," IRNA quoted the regional official as saying.
Thirty percent of the gearboxes manufactured at this plant will be exported to China and the rest will be installed in domestically produced vehicles.
Local auto firms such as Iran Khodro Company, SAIPA and Bahman Group will purchase the CVT products in advance, the official stated.
The factory is located in Zanjan's Industrial Town Number 1. Industries Minister Mohammad Reza Nematzadeh, Mansour Moazzami, chairman of the board of IDRO, MPs, local and automotive officials are expected to attend the inauguration. 
A 25-member delegation from Belgium along with representatives from the country's embassy will also attend.   

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Does Punch have representation in U S A ?

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