Iran-Khodro: Muslim Countries to Launch Joint Car in 2011

A036180715.jpgTEHRAN (Fars News Agency)- A car to be made by Iran, Malaysia and Turkey will be launched in 2011, the head of the Middle East’s biggest carmaker and partner in the project, Iran Khodro, said on Wednesday.

Manouchehr Manteghi, chief executive and president of the Iranian company, said Islamic countries would be behind all the investment and production.

Malaysia’s Proton chief executive, Syed Zainal Abidin Syed Mohamed Tahir, said in November the three countries would develop the car with Islamic features such as a compass to determine the direction of Mecca.

But Tahir did not say when production would start.

“This car will be produced with the latest technology and it will measure up to all global standards when it goes into different markets in 2011,” Manteghi said.

But he denied that any Islamic features would be standard and said the car could be marketed in non-Muslim countries.

“Each Islamic country can order the additional equipment based on its own needs. In addition to Islamic countries, this car is capable of being presented in all global markets,” Manteghi told a news conference.

Manteghi said his firm, which produced more than 525,000 cars and pick-up trucks in 2006/07, was chosen by the Organization of The Islamic Conference (OIC) to lead the project.

This car will be sold for about 6,000 to 8,000 Euros ($8,800-$11,700). He said the main target markets would be in Africa, the Middle East and southeast Asia.

Iran Khodro has partnerships with global carmakers, such as a joint venture with France’s Renault to make the no-frills Logan, sold in Iran as the Tondar-90.

It also makes vehicle models such as Peugeot’s 206 and 405 and Suzuki Motor Corp’s Grand Vitara.

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