Iran’s national automaker, Iran Khodro, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with nine leading automotive firms to help develop a modular platform to underpin a new generation of cars for its IKCO brand.
The list includes firms specializing in engines, transmissions, chassis systems and manufacturing, as well as Italian design firm Pininfarina. Iran’s Amirkabir and Sharif universities are also involved in the project.
Previously, Iran Khodro relied on platforms from other automakers, primarily France’s PSA Group. Iran Khodro has also manufactured a number of PSA Group models under license for sale in Iran.
Pininfarina will be taking a leading role in the development of the platform which will spawn at least four different cars including sedan, SUV and hatchback body styles. The platform will also be capable of hybrid and electric powertrains.
Iran Khodro is hoping to have the first car based on the platform ready for sale in the next two to three years. The car will initially be sold in Iran but Iran Khodro is looking to expand sales outside of the country.
Iran Khodro deputy CEO Kamran Sepehri said that the new platform was necessary for the long-term viability of the company. He said the company needs cars that can compete with products from more established automakers if it wishes to capture market share in more countries.
Iran Khodro has a goal of exporting 30 percent of the cars it builds by 2025.