Iranian state car manufacturer Saipa has agreed a preliminary deal to form a joint venture company in Sudan to produce economy models.

Saipa has been present in the north east African state for ten years, and although it was keen to stress the agreement was not formal at this stage, it expects to ink a final deal within the next six months. Partner details have not yet been released.

"Total volume exported to this market is not so much, but we have been active," Saipa overseas marketing general manager Ahmad Esmaeili told just-auto from Tehran.

"Africa and especially north African countries [such as] Sudan - it is one of our priorities. Also we see in this [Sudanese] market, the purchasing power is getting higher and higher every day - perhaps because of oil production."

Esmaeili said Saipa would concentrate on its economy 111, 132 and 141 models for Sudan with the chance it could manufacture parts in the country.

"There is a possibility we will produce locally for some parts and we intend to increase this percentage," said Esmaeli. "It is our prediction to sign the formal agreement within six months."

Further details of the joint venture are expected soon.