Economy, Auto

Suzuki Plans 3 Vehicles for Iranian Market

Suzuki Plans 3 Vehicles for Iranian Market
Suzuki Plans 3 Vehicles for Iranian Market

Japanese automaker Suzuki plans to launch and later assemble at least three new models for the Iranian market, hinting a significant shift in its sales outlook for Iran in the post-sanctions environment.

The vehicles earmarked for production in the Islamic Republic include the small Suzuki Swift hatchback, Ciaz large sedan and Grand Vitara's upgraded model, as well as two small crossover vehicles, according to Asre Khodro. Suzuki announced that it plans to start the production of new vehicles before the end of the current Iranian year (ending March 20, 2017).

However, initially only Swift and Vitara models will roll with the Ciaz joining the production line in the country afterwards, according to the report.

Ciaz is aimed at the middle-class market with a target price of 1-1.6 billion rials, according to the report. Currently Ciaz is only available in select markets, including India, China and Thailand.

The Suzuki Swift will launch initially with three engine sizes, including 1.2, 1.4 and 1.6 liters. The vehicle price is expected to be in the range of 440-770 million rials.

Earlier this week, Maruti Suzuki's Pakistani counterpart, Pak Suzuki, stated that it was considering shifting its operations away from Islamabad toward Tehran due to the incentives offered by the Iranian government.

Pak Suzuki and Maruti Suzuki are both partially owned by Suzuki, but their other shareholders do not cross paths, according to one inside source in the Pakistan.

Last summer, Iran Khodro said it was moving ahead with plans to team up with the Japanese automaker. At the time IKCO said it had agreed with the Tokyo to begin an internal study to prepare the groundwork for cooperation.  

Japanese automaker Suzuki has bought back a nearly 20% stake held by German carmaker Volkswagen for 460bn yen ($3.8bn) in 2015, freeing it from previous issues with contracts with third-party car producers.

Suzuki bought almost 120 million shares at 3,842.50 yen each in after-hours trading, ending a partnership between the automakers. The deal between the carmakers soured soon after it was formed in 2009.