Iran reactivates car manufacturing plant in West African nation of Senegal
An Iranian car manufacturing plant in Senegal has resumed its operations in the West African nations amid plans by Tehran to increase exports and facilitate its access to hard currency revenues.
Car maker Iran Khodro Company (IKCO) will begin to assemble cars in the industrial city of Thies, 70 km from the capital Dakar, through a local joint venture named Seniran Auto, 60% owned by the Iranian firm.
IKCO’s head of exports and international relations said that SenIran Auto has resumed manufacturing of the Samand model since earlier this week, using kits sent from Iran.
Kianoush Pourmojib said that the plant has been awarded a contract to produce 2,000 taxis in Senegal, adding that IKCO plans to introduce other models for production in the site to market them in other West African countries.
Pourmojib said the vehicles could be exported to nearby markets. “By activating the Senegal site, we will be able to pursue export targets in the African region more easily,” he said.
IKCO announced plans to assemble cars in Senegal in 2008, but the project was halted in 2016 due to political and economic problems.
The announcement comes amid efforts by the Iranian government to expand exports of manufactured products from the country as part of plans to diversify the economy away from crude revenues.
Another overseas plant run by the IKCO in Syria has been reactivated following a trip to the country last month by Iran’s minister of industries Reza Fatemi Amin, said the report by IRNA.
It quoted Fatemi Amin as saying that two other sites in Iraq and Azerbaijan will resume or increase their manufacturing activity in the near future.
The minister said that Iran has set a target to export 30% of its car output by 2025, adding that the figure would equal to around one million cars per year.