Industry sources report that passenger car production in Iran increased by 44% to 462,000 units in the year to 21 March 2003. As most Iranian production is for domestic consumption, the production increase also serves as a good indicator of trends in the Iranian marketplace.

Industry sources told just-auto that the boom in car sales has left waiting lists as long as eighteen months on some models.

Car production in Iran is dominated by Iran Khodro, which makes the Paykan (old Hillman Hunter) and makes or assembles a number of Peugeot models, including the 405 and 206. The low price Paykan was the biggest selling model in the year to March 21 with production of some 145,238 units. In second place, the Kia Pride was produced in volume of 136,191 units.

Some 40,000 units of the Peugeot 405 and 32,668 units of the Peugeot 206 were produced in the period.

Iran Khodro plans to build some 115,000 Paykans over the next year to March 2004. Kia Pride production is planned to increase to 180,000 units.

Other models made in Iran include the Nissan Maxima, Sepand (Renault 5) and Citroen Xantia.