Iran Khodro Company (public joint stock) was founded in August 1962 and was registered in Tehran Registration Co.( Registration no. 8352 , National code: 10100360794) The company first started production of LP buses, the chassis of which were imported from Germany and assembled them in the current northern factory of Iran Khodro. In the following, a summery of events taken place since 1966 and achievements of the company during these years can be read.01/
In 1966, Iran Khodro signed a contract with the English company of Rootes to make a sedan named 'Paykan'. A year later the car making company of 'Iran National' was established with the capital of 40 thousand dollars, benefiting from a land for the factory, new and old machineries and bank credit to assemble 10 passenger cars and 7 buses and trucks on a daily basis.02/
From 1967 to 1978 Paykan was assembled in different models of basic, deluxe, sport, station and pick-up, and buses were made as urban 302, rural and super deluxe. There were also minibuses and ambulances made in the then 'Iran National'. Production raised form the very start and it amounted to 98000 sets of Paykan in 1977.03/
In 1973, localization of car parts and self-sufficiency was set as the main goal and strategy of the company, based on which the companies of Ball bearing, Piston, Tabriz IDEM, Mashad Reza and a casting factory were built.04/
In 1974, simultaneous with the increasing price of oil and exchange revenues, 'Iran National' chose to assemble Peugeot cars. It was in the same year that the company's shares were introduced to Tehran Stock Exchange, giving up 45 percent of the shares to the public.05/
In late 1977, the company held talks with France's Peugeot to replace Paykan, which had passed its time, with Peugeot 305. By the end of the next year, the Islamic revolution of Iran took place and the new government took the hold of all industries and according to the Islamic Revolution Council law of Iran Industries Protection and Development ratified in 1980, 'Iran National' due to its nature as an industrial company was sheltered by the National Industries Organization and managed by Ministry of Industries. This was when Iraq started the imposed war against Iran and the trend of foreign exchange and economical setbacks like lack of raw material import, low quality of products, delayed supply and worn-out machineries in the company extended up to 1982.06/
1983 can be recalled as a productive year with no specific barrier in the process of production and this came about as the Ministry of Industry was in good shape regarding the acquired strategies and stable foreign exchange condition. Meanwhile, this production growth could be seen in other industries as well.07/
Unlike 1983, 1985 started with a limp in foreign exchange earnings and signs of industrial, economical and production crisis could be seen everywhere, putting the company at the risk of shutting down in early 1986.08/
Two years later in 1988, Iran-Iraq war ended. This was when a three-year contract for the production of Peugeot 405 sedan was inked under the supervision of IDRO (Iran's Industries Development and Renovation Organization) and the Ministry of Industries.09/
In 1989, simultaneous with Iran's government emphasis on the production of public vehicles, two major developments took place. First, Peugeot shop in Iran Khodro was converted in order to produce 6000 sets of buses in two working shifts in a year. Second, in search of a replacement for Paykan powertrain as Iran Khodro rolled Paykan off the production line concurrent with Tablbot Company being closed, Peugeot 504 engine was mounted on Paykan, which was then named 'Paykageot' and finally 'Paykan1800'.10/
In 1991, Paykan was back on production line and SAPCO (Supplying Automotive Parts Company of Iran Khodro) was founded.11/
1994 was the year of big development as Iran Khodro set down a 7-year program and the annual production of 300,000 sets. One of the strategic goals, considered in the 7-year program, was constant quality improvement followed by ISO 9000 standard project, processed in the company. Different production units in Iran Khodro could meet ISO 9000 requirements by 1998. Qualitative and quantitative boost in the production of domestic automotive parts was also achieved when SAPCO was established. And finally, Iran Khodro research and development center, built up with noticeable capital investment can be counted as another development, resulting in the creation of Samand sedan.12/
In 2002, Iran Khodro compiled a 10-year program directing at globalization and for this planned on its strategic goals of quality improvement, product diversity specially Samand models, Paykan phase-out, price consistency, competitiveness and inward technology transfer. Cost reduction, strong presence in domestic market and export development can also be considered as other objectives that were followed seriously. In this year also, the mass production of Samand as the national car started.
In 2003, Pars and Samand models of the year and Peugeot 206 sedan were put into production.
In 2004, Iran Khodro started to practice the SAP software as an enterprise resource planning system in order to improve productivity and planning to acquire a better control over final operations. It was in this year that the two sedans of Pars ELX and Samand Lx were introduced to the market.15/
Paykan phase-out in 2005 is regarded as a turning point in the company's history technology-wise, working it out toward better customer satisfaction. Peugeot 206 sedan, Roa sedan enjoying optimized OHV engine and Samand Sarir limo were also marketed this year. In the meantime, Iran Khodro designed its CNG-based engine and targeted for global markets.16/
In 2006, the national engine production line and Samand sedan production lines in Azerbaijan, Belarus and Syria were put into production. Meanwhile, Tondar 90 sedan (Renault Logan) joined Iran Khodro cars, thereby; the product portfolio was no longer limited to Peugeot cars. Samand project in Venezuela also commenced this year.17/
Iran Khodro received the EFQM Award in 2007. The production lines in the city of Tabriz, Senegal and Venezuela were inaugurated in the same year and as a new car, the company introduced Samand Soren to the market.18/
In 2008, IKCO designed Runna. It was in the same year that the company was elected as the Top Exporter and received Export National Award and a crystal trophy for Iran's Best Research and development Sector.19/
The role of IKCO in boosting car production volume in the country was quite tangible in 2009. Focus on global sales led to a 40% growth in IKCO car export through IKCO network. Meanwhile, Iran Khodro designed and prototyped a car that enjoyed nanotechnology.20/
Production of 755,555 cars in 2010 was a new record for IKCO in the region, which counted for almost 50% share of the market. Moreover, Iran's Industrial Management Organization marked IKCO as the best company under the titles of:
A growth in the company's stock value, 40% improvement in IDRO qualitative figures for IKCO, cash flow management, better production chain supply by SAPCO and two to five percent price reduction in 65 cars concurrent with the first phase of government's rationalization of subsidies plan can be also regarded as other accomplishments in 2010. Reconsidering export strategies based on Iran's Supreme Leader recommendations and exporting 40 thousand cars through IKCO export network in 2010 with the main emphasis on sending IKCO brand cars to the Islamic countries' markets were put on the agenda. This led to the global sale of 30% of IKCO cars (national car) in 2010. Dena as IKCO's latest car enjoys world class standards regarding technology and design, the process of design and prototyping of which took less than a year. This sedan was unveiled on April 2011.
LNowadays, brands should be world brands to stay afloat. Although IKCO has cooperated with other automakers and achieved joint projects in different sections, it has struggled to introduce its brand in competitive world markets. For this reason, IKCO put the production of its own products in agenda since 10 years ago. SAMAND’s birth was the first fruition of this endeavor. Carrying the title of first Iranian national car, SAMAND promised a new bright era for Iran auto industry in which assembling was left behind to create world brands. SAMAND and SOREN penetrated through the world markets in no time and firmed their status among other overseas products gradually. Based on this presence and applying the full-fledged of its subsidiaries, IKCO has turned out as a known brand in international arena and by attending in universal rankings it is overvalued day in, day out.
In sector of passenger cars, in order to take advantage of working with world-class car manufacturers and to diversify company resources into different segments of the markets, IKCO has developed strategic partnerships with global leading carmakers (Mercedes-Benz, PSA, Renault and Suzuki). Furthermore, IKCO has built up its own brand, which has been started by SAMAND. Samand design, as Iranian national car, began in the late 1990s. The car penetrated into the market in 2002. It hits the market in numerous models like Ordinary, LX, Soren, and Sarir. After producing cars like Pars and 206, IKCO started a new project named X12 which is titled as the Iranian second national car. IKCO has gained a new status among other auto makers for the technological development of its production lines and has met global standard in its robots and press, paint and body shops.
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