India’s media reported on Monday that the country’s Tata Motors is in talks with Iran’s auto giant Iran Khodro to set up a car production unit in the country.
The Economic Times has quoted unnamed sources in New Delhi as saying that Tata and Iran Khodro are discussing a joint venture to assemble knocked down units of the petrol versions of its models, including the latest compact car Tiago, Bolt and Zest, which are powered by the company’s new Revotron petrol engines.
Knocked down version of the cars will be imported and assembled at Iran Khodro’s manufacturing facility after adding local contents like tires and batteries, reported the Economic Times.
Tata Motors will use Iran Khodro’s sales network to sell the cars, it added.
The branding will be of Tata Motors and Iran Khodro will be just a contract manufacturer, the sources have said, adding that Tata Motors will start assembling in Iran in less than 2 years.
Initially, Tata Motors is looking at 100,000 cars a year which will be gradually ramped up. Production at the factory, which may be located in suburban Tehran and Mashhad, is slated to begin by 2018.
Iran Khodro presents itself as the biggest automotive group in the Middle East and already has set up production lines in Venezuela, Belarus, Senegal, and Azerbaijan. It dominates Iran’s massive market along with another Iranian auto major – Saipa.
Over the past months and specifically in the wake of the removal of sanctions against Iran, several leading European car manufacturers have been discussing potential partnership deals with Iran Khodro. They included Volkswagen, Renault, Mercedes-Benz and Fiat among others.