Iran Launches New Car Production Line

24 May 2000

Iran Sunday launched a new-look fibreglass sport utility vehicle targeting young drivers at home and abroad. The new vehicle, named ``Sinad,'' is the first offering from Kish Khodro Company, a joint venture based on the Gulf island of Kish, one of three free-trade zones set up to draw foreign investment. Private Iranian investors hold 51 percent of Kish Khodro shares, a state development bank owns 40 percent and BMS Management, a British engineering group that designed the vehicle, holds a nine-percent stake. BMS is the second foreign company with a stake in an Iranian automobile firm, after Germany's Mercedez Benz, which is in a joint venture to build trucks. Kish Khodro started the $11 million Sinad project with an initial production target of 5,000 SUV's a year, rising to 15,000 per year in the future, said the company's chairman Mohammad Safari. The two-door Sinad is priced at about $10,000. A four-door and sports models are due out later.

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