Financial Tribune – ASino-Iranian joint venture, MG Pars Motor, has produced a test run of 80 MG360 sedans, during the last days of the last fiscal that ended on March 20.
The 50-50 joint venture was created three years ago between China’s SAIC Motors and AZVICO— a subsidiary of Iran Khodro Group based in the northwestern city of Tabriz.
According to the local automotive website Donyaye Khodro, the 80 units have received number plates and are being test driven by Iranian and Chinese engineers in the city.
The price of the model is estimated to be about 700 million rials ($18,500). This is while the car that is made in China is offered for $12,800 in the UAE The report said sales of the model would start in summer.
In September 2016, CEO of AZVICO Nasser Naqdi announced the upcoming production of the model in Iran saying “MG 360 is the newest car to be produced in Iran”.
Naqdi said price and production rate will be “determined by the market.”
He said the two companies invested $20 million each in the JV and future direct investment will increase to $400 million.
The first units have been assembled from completely knocked-down parts. However, sources close to the company say the Iranian company is aiming to increase its share in the production by launching spare part factories.
For joint car ventures, the new rules say a minimum of 20% of a vehicle’s parts must be produced in Iran.
Naqdi referred to technology transfer as one of the main goals of the joint venture and said the factory’s paint shops and body production line will be established in the coming years.
According to company chief, MG Pars Motor will produce 10,000 cars in 2017 and increase it to 20,000 units a year later.
The company will introduce at least one new model annually to the local market, he said. “SAIC RX5 and another SUV will be made in 2017 and 2018 in Iran.”
MG Pars is also planning to introduce hybrid vehicles produced by the Chinese company.
MG Pars is headed by a Chinese company official Lin Yong. He also will be in charge of distribution. In an earlier interview, Yong named Iran as “one of the industrial hubs of the region”.
He said, “In addition to local sales, the cars will be exported to Ukraine, Syria, Lebanon and Jordan.”
During the same interview, Lin noted that SAIC is in negotiations with local parts producers for further collaboration.
SAIC’s MG also has a distribution deal with local car dealer Media Motors for import of the MG3 MG6, GT and GS models.
The MG 360 comes with a 109 horsepower engine with a dual variable camshaft and a 4 automatic BOSCH engine management system transmission along with a multi-mode Intelligent Control and a Max Power.
It boasts an 8-inch touch screen. The car also has a rear camera with mirror play and Bluetooth as well as multimedia options.
According to the MG official website, the model has been built with a USD (Ultimate Stiffness Design) reinforced body structure with 70% high strength steel.