Blog: Germans in Iran
Dave Leggett | 5 July 2004
When I was at the Tehran auto show last year, I noticed that Volkswagen Group was making a pretty big splash – Volkswagen and Skoda. It’s therefore not too surprising to hear that Volkswagen has concluded a deal on Iranian assembly of the Gol. It will be interesting to see what price the Gol retails at in Iran. Import tariffs and taxes on CKD kits into Iran can make even modest vehicles look horribly expensive (try $30,000+ for a Mazda 323 or Peugeot 206). It’s little wonder that Iranians can’t get enough of the ancient Paykan (Hillman Hunter) that is fully localised and sells for just $10,000.
I would imagine that Volkswagen will be looking to raise local content as quickly as possible on the Gol in order to get the price down. It will also serve as a learning process and precursor to other Volkswagen/Skoda models if all goes to plan. And German companies will also be in the running to help with the development of the supplier industry in Iran. I remember hearing about the ‘advancing Germans’ – in an Iranian supplier industry context - last year. Also, a little distance from the Americans and the British - especially with respect to policy in neighbouring Iraq - won’t be doing German firms any harm at all in Iran.
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