China's Changan to assemble vehicles in Russia and Iran

Changan has signed a deal with local partner Saipa to begin assembly of two models in Iran, including the CS35 compact SUV, according to a local media report.
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Chongqing Changan Automobile Co., a major state-owned automaker in the southwest China city of Chongqing, plans to build complete knockdown plants in Russia and Iran to increase its exports, according to local media and the company.

Last week, Changan signed a deal with Iranian auto dealership group Iran Saipa Automotive Group to assemble its vehicles in Saipa's plant with complete knockdown kits imported from China, reported the Chongqing Morning Post, a daily newspaper.

The first two models to be built in Saipa's plant will be Changan's Eado compact sedan and the CS35 compact SUV. The plant will assemble 50,000 Changan vehicles annually.

Changan will sell the vehicles assembled in Iran and in neighboring Middle East countries, according to the newspaper. The automaker has not yet indicated when the Saipa plant will start building its vehicles.

This week, Changan also disclosed plans to build a complete knockdown plant in Russia that can build as many as 100,000 vehicles a year. The company says it will build that project within the next two years, but has yet to choose a location.

Iran and Russia are major export markets for Chinese automakers. Chery Automobile Co., Great Wall Motor Co. and Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co. have opened complete knockdown plants in those countries.

Changan exports a small number of vehicles to Iran and Russia.

In China, Changan makes cars and microvans for its own brands. It also has joint ventures with Ford Motor Co., Mazda Motor Corp., Suzuki Motor Corp. and PSA/Peugeot-Citroen.

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