Iran's vehicle imports in the current Iranian calendar year (started 21 March, 2006) increased by more than 150% year on year, exceeding 26,000 vehicles.

The country imported around 10,000 vehicles in 2005, the Teheran Times said on its website.

Eight cylinder sedans, whose imports had been banned for years, found their way into the country in 2006, leading to a significant increase in the number of high-power cars, the Persian service of ISNA reportedly said.

Top on the list of the cars imported into the country were various models built by Toyota and Hyundai as Toyota's Camry and Hyundai's Sonata accounted for some 70% of the imported cars.

Although German automakers Mercedes Benz and BMW have failed to have a strong presence in Iran's market, they are making fresh moves to boost their exports to Iran, the report said.

A number of domestic car makers such as SAIPA and Kerman Khodro imported Renault's Megane, the Citroen C5, and the Sonata.

Iran's major automaker Iran Khodro Co. (IKCO) is planning to import various Peugeot models, including the 407, in 2007.