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Iran Khodro logo

Iran Khodro Industrial Group (in Persianایران خودرو‎), also known as IKCO, is the leading Iranian vehicle manufacturer, with headquarters in Tehran.[5] The company's original name was Iran National. IKCO was founded in 1962 and it produced 688,000 passenger cars in 2009.[6] IKCO manufactures vehicles, including SamandPeugeotand Renault cars, and trucks, minibuses and buses.[7]

For more than three decades, Iran Khodro produced the Paykan, a car developed from the Rootes Group's Rootes Arrow range, best known as the Hillman Hunter. Paykan saloon car production was discontinued in 2005, almost thirty years after the end of Arrow production (latterly as the Chrysler Hunter) in Britain. A pick-up version is still in production.[12] Bardo Pick-up, pick-up version of Paykan, will be replaced by a new pick-up from Samand family.[13]

Iranian-designed IKCO Samand, replaces the dated Paykan as Iran's "national car", and features a part-Iranian designed CNG/petrol dual-fuel engine in its Soren variant.

[1][2]Front view of Samand LX[3][4]Rear view of Samand LX

The firm has a long-term relationship with European and Asian manufacturers including PSA Peugeot Citroën, manufacturing and assembling a number of models under license from these firms. In 2009, Peugeot 206, Peugeot Pars, Peugeot 405, Peugeot Roa, and Samand sedans were IKCO's export-bound cars sent to Azerbaijan, Iraq, Armenia, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Syria and Afghanistan.[14] As at 2012, IKCO products incorporate 5-10 percent of components imported from France. IKCO's parts imports from Peugeot accounted for 700-800 million euros ($572–654 million) per year.[15] Iran has reached 98% of self-sufficiency in producing Peugeot 405 parts and 75% in Peugeot 206 parts.[16]

Renault Pars is in charge of the engineering, quality control, parts supply, logistics, managing sales policies as well as marketing and customer services for Renault products in Iran and IKCO is one of its main shareholders that produces Tondar for the domestic market. Renault Pars is a joint venture, 51 percent of which belongs to Renault of France. Forty-nine percent of Renault Pars' shares is jointly held by Iran's Industrial Development and Renovation Organization, IKCO and Saipa. The company was established in 2003.[17]

IKCO also manufactures trucks, buses and E-Class passenger cars under license from Mercedes-Benz. In a joint-venture with Daimler AG, Iran Khodro is to start production of sophisticated 900-class Mercedes-Benz engines; Daimler states that Iranian-made engines will be exported to Germany.[18] Among Asian automotive manufacturers, IKCO is cooperating with Suzuki. Producing Suzuki Grand Vitara in IKCO's Site in Khorasan, IKCO will produce Suzuki Kizashi.[19]

In 2012, IKCO announced that at least 3% of the company's sales will be allocated to research and development.[20]