Blog: New Iranian car
Dave Leggett | 16 April 2009
I must admit to being intrigued by the news that Iran Khodro's next national car unveiling will be broadcast live on its company website this Saturday. I visited the IKCO plant in Tehran a few years ago (not many Westerners can say that) and I was impressed. To be honest, it was - broadly speaking - much like any other vehicle facility anywhere in the world. The people there were very friendly and I even saw inside the R&D area, which looked pretty state of the art.
Peugeot 206s and Hillman Hunters running down the same assembly line is a sight I won't forget (alas, I didn't have permission for photography).
The Samand - Iran's first national car - involved plenty of outside expertise in its development. This next one is being billed as having more local know-how in its development and IKCO has high hopes for the car in the local market and for export.
Here's hoping that the political and geopolitical tensions between the West and Iran ease (would like to visit again sometime) and that the 'X12' is genuinely original and not a warmed over Peugeot 206. Actually, that's a bit harsh, I'm sure IKCO has moved along the learning curve by now. If you take a Peugeot 405 body and stick it on top of Hillman Hunter running gear (to create the 'Paykan RD'), you learn things, right?
From the archive: Overview of Iran's auto industry
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