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French Version

French carmaker Renault unveils $360 million Iranian operation

French carmaker Renault inaugurated its new Tehran headquarters on Saturday, part of its bid to establish itself as a major player in Iran's fast-growing automobile market.

On show was the Logan, a budget compact family sedan the company is set to produce here as part of a joint venture between Renault Pars, the car giant's Iranian concern, and the Automotive Industry Development Company, a grouping of Iran's two main state-controlled carmakers Saipa and Iran Khodro.

An initial agreement was signed in March, with 51 percent of the operation held by Renault.

The project involves the production of the Logan, to be branded here as the L-90.

Annual production, beginning in 2006, is expected to start at 300,000 units but could eventually rise to 500,000, said Renault group chairman and chief executive officer Louis Schweitzer.

Renault officials here have put the initial investment by the company at some $363 million, but said that amount could more than double over the next few years.

It is the largest direct and long-term investment in Iran by a French company since the formation of the Islamic Republic in 1979.

Beirut,07 27 2004
The Daily Star
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