Economy, Auto

Iran Carmaker Zagros Planning Comeback

Zagros may restart production with Foton cars.
Zagros may restart production with Foton cars.

Zagros Khodro, a now defunct producer of Proton models, may come back from the dead according to the Minister of Industries, Mining and Trade, Mohammad-Reza Nematzadeh who visited the mothballed factory in Lorestan region on Tuesday.

Zagros, which ceased production of Proton cars in 2010 due to the international sanctions throttling the business, sold 70% of its shares to Azim Khodro car brokerage group in 2016 for an undisclosed amount in a bid to reboot operations.

According to the minister, who is now looking to help restart the factory in Borujerd and help create jobs in the western city, "efforts are now being made to get things moving again. "

According to the report, representatives from Zagros and Azim are now in discussions with a Chinese firm, believed to be Foton, to get operations moving again.

Nematzadeh said financial discussions between Zagros and Proton for back payment to the Malaysian company are ongoing and there is a possibility that the companies could restart cooperation.

As part of the majority stake buy-out of Zagros by Azim last summer, Azim said it was looking to restart production and make 50,000 units per year.

A company statement at the time said, "The alliance now provides a perfect platform for an additional 50,000 vehicles to enter the market. We're very excited about this development."

Zagros, which previously produced the Proton Gen-2 and Impian models before sanctions were tightened in 2011, has suffered from the general slowdown in automotive demand in recent years.

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