IKCO denies halt in Belarusian production line

The Iran Khodro Company (IKCO) rejects reports that the largest Iranian automaker has halted its Belarusian production line.

"The production of Samand was not halted and will increase after launching the second phase of the project," said IKCO Managing Director Javad Najmeddin in Minsk.

The first phase of the Belarusian Samand sedan was inaugurated in July 2007 with an annual output of 5,000 vehicles after quality checks showed that the cars met the latest European and North American standards.

Najmeddin also expressed hope that IKCO would be able to manufacture further models after the launch of the second phase at the Belarus assembly plant.

Iran and Belarus signed a deal in 2008 to launch the second phase of the Belarusian production line over an 18-month period.

Under the agreement, Iran and Belarus also established a joint company named Unison in the Belarusian capital of Minsk.

A senior official of Unison, Alexi Vaganov, said that the plant's annual production capacity would reach 120,000 vehicles by 2010.

IKCO currently produces vehicles under 11 different brand names. The company also manufactures various vehicle models in seven countries across the globe.



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