Economy, Auto

IKCO Diesel Plans to Make Mercedes-Benz Sedans

IKCO Diesel Plans to Make Mercedes-Benz Sedans
IKCO Diesel Plans to Make Mercedes-Benz Sedans

Iran Khodro Diesel (IKCO Diesel), a leading manufacturer of commercial vehicles in the Iranian market which was formerly active in the production of E-Class Mercedes-Benz sedans between 2008 and 2011, is likely to produce another series of the German sedans, IKCO official Reza Hosseini announced on Sunday.

"IKCO Diesel plans to manufacture C-class sedans in its division, and further models are anticipated in the near future," he said in a press conference held for the presentation ceremony of the first locally manufactured minibus by this group, ISNA quoted.

Earlier this month, Zafar Tanhapour, the CEO of Saipa Diesel, an Iranian manufacturer of trucks and trailers, had claimed that the company is, too, geared up to start partnership with the German manufacturer, and that the two sides have been negotiating to produce trucks in Iran by the end of the current fiscal year (which will end March 19, 2016).  The claim had then been rejected by IKCO Diesel CEO Gholamreza Razazi who was also present at the press conference.

In response to the question on whether there was any truth to the claim by their Iranian rival, Razazi said, "IKCO Diesel and the German automaker share a long-term and exclusive partnership agreement, and you need to ask the company in question for details on the matter". He pointed out Mercedes-Benz representatives also "expressed unawareness of the assertions in their recent get-together with IKCO officials".

However, the inconsistency may be explained by reports on a number of news agencies where Saipa Diesel was going into talks with the German carmaker's partners rather than Daimler, Mercedes' owner. Mercedes-Benz's new truck Axor is currently produced in Iran, and the two sides have agreed on local manufacture of a new ambulance as well. "We are discussing to start production lines for more vehicles," Razazi explained. Noting that collaboration with the German side has been good so far, the IKCO Diesel official added, "We have set up joint ventures to produce certain auto parts in the past and Mercedes-Benz is looking to expand collaboration with Iran. We wish that to happen with the easing of sanctions and its ensuing limitations."