Fiat Auto And PIDF To Manufacture Cars In Iran

Fiat Auto SpA and Iran’s PIDF, (Pars Industrial Development Foundation) Co., have just announced a cooperation agreement to manufacture and distribute Fiat cars in Iran.

Herbert Demel, President and CEO of Fiat Auto SpA, and Manouchehr Gharavi, Chairman of PIDF Co., have signed a contract which calls for the production of the Fiat Palio hatchback, the Siena sedan, the Palio Weekend Adventure station-wagon, the Strada pick-up, and an MPV version; and also encompasses the manufacture of bi-fuel vehicles, including Fiat Multipla and Doblò, powered by CNG (compressed natural gas) engines, at PIDF’s industrial facility in Iran.

Production and distribution are expected to commence in the second half of 2005. Annual output is expected to reach more than 100,000 units in phase one, and to exceed 250,000 units when full capacity is reached. Overall industrial investment made by PIDF will total approximately Euro 200 million.

"This initiative is important because it forms part of our strategy for strengthening Fiat Auto’s presence in markets with a high growth potential in the automobile sector," said Herbert Demel at the agreement signing ceremony in Tehran.

"We want to bank upon and further exploit the prestige of our ‘world car’ project, which has won many awards in several countries, and is praised by customers in more than 40 markets where the ‘Palio family’ is already present. World-renowned Giorgetto Giugiaro, who has been named ‘designer of the century’ by an international jury, has greatly contributed to the success of our product thanks to its Italian styling.

"The agreement also encompasses the production of bi-fuel vehicles powered by CNG engines, a field in which Fiat has been at the technological forefront, and plays a major role internationally. Moreover, we are happy to team up with PIDF and Mr Gharavi’s organisation that is making every effort to ensure the success of our new venture due to its recognised and long standing experience in the automotive sector."

Manouchehr Gharavi comments: "Thanks to our cooperation agreement, Fiat is back in our country after 50 years. We are delighted to be adding Fiat automobiles to our factory and introducing its successful models to the Iranian market. Fiat is one of the most prestigious names in the automotive industry. It has consistently developed cars that have been affordable, practical and have greatly contributed to the motorisation of entire countries. Fiat is a world leader in the area of bi-fuel vehicles and its technology in CNG engines, which have great potential especially in the Iranian market, is second to none. Our plans call for establishing an important and consistent market share in Iran. Furthermore, our new venture is destined to play an important role in the expansion of Iran’s automotive supplier industry, further enhancing its expertise as it joins Fiat Auto’s worldwide suppliers’ network."

Published 1 February 2005 Melanie Carter

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