Feb 10 2010
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Land Rover Seeks to Tap Iranian Market
is in talks with Iranian authorities to begin sales in the Islamic Republic, as it actively seeks entry into the largely untapped Iranian market.
The firm, which was sold by US giant Ford to India's Tata Motors in 2008, is seeking official approval from the Iranian authorities.
Colgan did not reveal a timeline for the firm's entry into the Islamic Republic.
"The complication with Iran is that they have very stringent homologation (official approval) requirements that are very specific to that country," Colgan stated. "They have extremely strict rules on fuel economy, because while there are significant oil reserves there, there are limits to their refining capacity.
"So there's quite a long process of homologation and testing that's actually very well controlled and processed and that's work that is in process for us just now," the Land Rover executive added.
Colgan indicated that while all of the PGCC markets are wealthy, the smaller populations resulted in smaller growth opportunities. The Jaguar Land Rover executive added that in some local PGCC markets, the Range Rover--one of the firm's top brands--has a penetration by some measures of 30-45 percent of the marketplace.
Iran has a burgeoning local automotive market, although the majority of cars are produced locally, rather than imported.
Atieh Bahar Consulting Company confirmed in 2008 that only six foreign firms had secured licenses to import cars into the country. These companies were Mercedes Benz, Toyota, BMW, Hyundai, Lexus and Mitsubishi.
Last week, Land Rover signed an agreement with the Sardar Group, the largest privately-owned automotive group in Iraq, as the exclusive importer to represent the Land Rover brand marking Land Rover 's first official entry in the region. As part of the deal, Sardar Group has invested into a new state-of the-art facility for Land Rover vehicles. A 2,400-sqm showroom and 1,700-sqm after-sales center will be built in the city of Irbil.
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