Iranian automaker 'Iran-Khodro' unveils first local crossover
Rira is the name of this latest crossover car produced by Iran's giant automaker, Iran Khodro. The vehicle was unveiled at Iran-Khodro's factory west of Tehran. The Iranian carmaker says this is the first crossover ever built in Iran, which can compete with international rivals.
Iranian automakers, namely Iran-Khodro and Saipa, have picked up the slack after France’s Peugeot and Renault, along with other international automotive companied, exited Iran in 2018 in the wake of US sanctions on Iran that created a supply crunch, pushing car prices to unprecedented highs.
The crisis forced Iranian companies to pool up local resources to produce Iranian-made vehicles.
While admitting the adverse effects of US sanctions, Iran-Khodro managing director, Mehdi Khatibi, said the measures have had their silver lining.
Iranian-made cars already roll on the streets of countries such as Iraq, Syria, Azerbaijan and Senegal. However, Iran-Khodro has higher ambitions, planning to export 100,000 cars each year.
Launched in 1966, Iran Khodro Industrial Group, or shortly IKCO, started by producing the first Iranian-made car, Paykan, based on Britain’s Hillman Hunter in the 1960s. Paykan was discontinued in 2005.
Some of the old-fashioned cars such as Peugeot-206 are still rolling off the production lines of Iran-Khodro; however, the Iranian carmaker says it will soon stop producing them.
It plans to focus on manufacturing luxury cars such as Rira, which it regards as a bridge toward a foothold in the global market.
Iran Khodro has come a long way from copying foreign designs to manufacturing its own cars. The Iranian automaker says it's not complacent with where it stands and will continue its journey toward making cars on par with international brands.