French carmaker Renault has signed a much-awaited agreement with Iran to produce more than 150,000 cars a year in the country – what is already being described as the Islamic Republic’s biggest ever auto deal.
The value of the agreement, which was signed after 10 months of negotiations, would be €660 million.
Based on it, Renault would team up with Iran's Negin Khodro and the Industrial Development and Renovation Organization (IDRO) to produce the latest versions of Symbol and Duster brands of the French automaker from 2018.
“Sixty percent of the shares of the partnership would belong to Renault and the rest to Iran,” the domestic media quoted IDRO Chairman Mansour Moazzami as saying. “From the total of 40 percent of Iran’s shares, 20 percent would belong to IDRO and the remaining to the private sector (Negin Khodro).”
Iran’s IRNA news agency reported that the agreement also envisaged the establishment of an engineering and sales center in Iran.
Moazzami further emphasized that Renault would be obliged to export 30 percent of the manufactured items which he said would include cars and parts.
The official further added that the agreement with Renault included a second phase which was yet to be finalized and concerned production of cars in Iran from 2019.
Renault’s key rival PSA had also signed a deal with Iran’s biggest automaker Iran Khodro in June 2016 to produce 200,000 Peugeots a year in the Islamic Republic. It had signed another deal with Iran Khodro’s chief competitor SAIPA to produce a similar number of Citroen cars.
Iran’s overall car production is expected to reach two million cars a year by 2020, up from 1.2 million in 2016.