IKCO CEO Javad Najmeddin has said the company plans to produce and sell 850,000 cars in the current Iranian year, started 21 March, 2011. It built over 750,000 last year.

Addressing staff at a ceremony to mark the new working year, Najmeddin stressed that diesel engine production should be increased. He also announced that the turbocharged EF7 engine would be mass produced this year.

"In the current year, the daily production of Peugeot 206 and Samand will exceed 1,200 and 1,000 units respectively," the CEO said, adding: "Paykan pickup will be phased out and replaced by Samand pickup this year."

IKCO launched two new assembly plants in Mazandaran and Fars provinces last year with capacities of 15,000 and 10,000 cars a year respectively and has begun building two more plants in the Semnan and Azarbaijan provinces in the north and north-east of Iran. These new sites as well as optimal use of the existing plants will make the target production plan achievable, the automaker daid.

The CEO also said the company will start mass production of the Runna, IKCO's second national car, in September.

Increasing output of more fuel efficient cars, a commitment to euro IV emissions standards and expansion of domestic and international markets are some of the other plans included in IKCO's 'road map' for this year.

"Other plans for this new year are to present a new domestically-designed modern car and develop fuel-efficient engines," Najmeddin said.

"In the 2025 plan, Iran's auto industry will be the fifth largest amongst Asian countries and 11th in the world; based on the plan the country will produce 3m passenger cars, one third of which will be exported.