Iranian state-owned carmaker Pars Khodro on Tuesday morning inaugurated the production line of Renault’s Sandero.

Pars Khodro and French carmaker Renault are set to produce 15,000 Sandero hatchbacks in Iran by the end of the year, According to a report by Finantial Tribune.

Renault’s Sandero model, which will be released under the name B90 in Iran, will be produced 40% locally, Iran’s magazine Donyaye Khodro quoted CEO of carmaker Azin Khodro Reza Rezae as saying.

Earlier in June, Pars Khodro, partly owned by Saipa, said it had started trial production of the Renault Sandero.

Pars Khodro also produces other Renault branded Dacia cars in the local market under a license agreement from Renault. The company has been producing the Dacia Logan since 2006. The car is referred to in Iran as Tondar 90 or L90.

The Sandero supermini will be the first Renault sport model to be built outside of Europe.

Pars Khodro was Renault’s partner in a joint venture before the French carmaker slammed the door on the Iranian company in 2012 when sanctions were imposed on the Islamic Republic, Press Tv reported.

With the finalization of nuclear talks with Iran, French automakers are back with a vengeance in order to redeem the lost ground, mostly to Chinese companies.

Renault was first reported in January to be planning to use $562 million of funds stuck in Iranian banks under the sanctions to buy a 45% stake in Pars Khodro.

Western companies are salivating at the prospects of a pent-up demand in the Iranian market which produced 1.6 million cars before sanctions cut the output by 1 million units a year.

Iran is the Middle East’s biggest car producer but the country’s automotive industry needs modernizing after years of sanctions.

Germany’s Volkswagen and Daimler also have indicated their interest in returning to Iran, sending their executives to Tehran with Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel in July.

Source » realiran