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Renault starts selling Logan in Iran as Tondar-90

From Reuters| March 05,2007

PARIS (Reuters) -- French car maker Renault said it will start selling its no-frills, locally-manufactured Tondar-90 in Iran from Saturday at a price from 6,750 euros ($8,885).

Known at the Logan elsewhere, the car is made with partners Khodro and SAIPA which have a capacity of 300,000 cars per year. It makes Iran the fifth country to build the car after Romania, Russia, Morocco and Colombia.

In the Iran market, half of the cars cost below 8,000 euros.

"Given the country's buoyant automobile market, the Logan project in Iran will make a significant contribution to achieving Renault Commitment 2009," the company said on Friday.

Under that plan, Renault will launch 26 new vehicles to boost sales by 800,000 cars per year to 3.3 million by 2009 with an operating profit margin of 6 percent. Of the sales growth, 80 percent will be outside Europe.

The production of Tondar (thunder in Farsi) will be spread between the two Iranian partners which have factories in the suburbs of Tehran.

Many parts come from Romania but 50 Iranian suppliers will also be involved with production. There were investments of 300 million euros mainly in tooling at the suppliers.

The Logan was first made by Renault's Romanian subsidiary Dacia. The Tondar will be sold under the Renault brand.

Renault already sells the Megane in Iran, built in Turkey, and later in 2007 these will also be made at a rate of 15,000 vehicles per year at Khodro.

Iran will also serve as an export base, Renault said.

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