Iran Khodro Company (IKCO) modernizes Senegal's taxi fleet by selling 2,000 Samand taxis to the country.

Iran PressIran news: The agreement to sell 2,000 taxis was signed by Hassan Zakeri, CEO of Seniran Auto, Iran Khodro's Senegal branch in Dakar on Tuesday.

The keys of 48 taxis for use at the new Dakar Airport were handed over to the Senegalese authorities.

Iran Khodro, the biggest automobile producer in the Middle East, has reactivated its assembly line to produce Samand sedans in Senegal.

The company began assembling cars in Thies, Senegal's second-largest city 70 km from Dakar, in 2008 through a local joint venture named Seniran Auto, but the West African country severed diplomatic relations with Iran in February 2011, and the issue disrupted the partnership.

Senegalese government agrees to reactivate Iran Khodro's production site

Kianoush Pourmojib was quoted by Fars News Agency on Tuesday as saying that the Senegalese government had agreed to extend a duty-free scheme, following which "necessary measures were taken" to reactivate Iran Khodro's production site in the country and resume production and supply of Seniran products.  

For now, the plant has started producing Samand LX cars for use in the taxi fleet, but other products are being introduced to the Senegal market to gauge the needs and tastes of the country's customers, he said.

"Despite international restrictions, Iran Khodro's efforts to revive the site have borne fruit and the cargo ordered by the Senegalese has been shipped and the assembly and supply of Samand taxis have begun," Pourmojib said.

"We are planning to export other products of the Iran Khodro Industrial Group to Senegal, including heavy and semi-heavy commercial vehicles and motorbikes," Pourmojib said.

According to the official, this is the second shipment of CKD (completely knocked down) kits for assembly by Seniran Auto, which has targeted re-exports to Guinea and Nigeria in the past.

"By activating the Senegal site, we will be able to pursue export targets in the African region more easily," he added.      

Iran Khodro owns 60% of the shares in the $100 million joint venture with an annual production capacity of 5,000 cars equipped with an ABS brake system, airbags, air-conditioners and central locking.

Tehran's quest for trade partners is not limited to Africa. It also has factories in Azerbaijan, Belarus, Syria, and Venezuela.

Iran Khodro says its current models, including its leading brand, the Samand, meet pollution and safety standards and are prized by consumers in 30 markets in the Middle East, Africa and the former Soviet Republic.

The Samand is based on France's Peugeot, but Iran Khodro has introduced a new sedan called Dena that offers higher specifications and continues driving for a purely Iranian car.

The automaker produced Peugeot branded cars and a version of a Renault model under agreements with the French manufacturers, which stopped business with Iran after the US imposed unilateral sanctions on the Islamic Republic of Iran in 2018. 


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