The Iranian Connection In The GM/Peugeot Alliance

Derek Kreindler
by Derek Kreindler

As a member of The Tribe with an Iranian best friend, the general policy on politics pertaining to the Middle East is “don’t talk about it” (although like most young Iranians, my friend’s take on Ahamadinejad would make Rick Santorum look like a capitulating Ayatollah-sympathizer). The same policy seems to have come up in the last week or two, a s talks of a General Motors/PSA tie-up have surfaced. Peugeot has an Iranian best friend, and it may have some interesting implications if the deal goes through.

The Iran Khodro Company is the largest vehicle manufacturer in North Africa, Iran and Central Asia. Although it builds vehicles in partnership with Suzuki, Mercedes-Benz and Renault, it has a long standing relationship with PSA Peugeot-Citroen. The Peugeot 405 based IKCO Samand is known as “Iran’s national car”, and is exported to a number of countries that all regularly vote against Israel at the United Nations; among them, Algeria, Tajikistan, Belarus, Venezuela. Switzerland also apparently gets the Samand, but remains neutral. IKCO also builds Peugeot badged iron like the 206, 405, 407 and a rear-drive Roa, a bizarre mixture of a 405 bodyshell with the rear-drive running gear of the Paykan, aka the Hillman Hunter.

Although we’ve driven the Samand once upon a time, the recent addition of General Motors, a taxpayer funded American company, merited a closer look at the PSA/IKCO alliance. Unlike Renault, PSA doesn’t have a joint-venture agreement with IKCO. Instead, the Peugeot products are built under license, with Peugeot getting a cut for each one sold. There are no real penalties or sanctions barring any American or EU tie-up from happening either (unless it involves Iranian oil). Nonetheless, it’s an interesting element to an already curious deal.

Derek Kreindler
Derek Kreindler

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  • Dave M. IMO this was the last of the solidly built MBs. Yes, they had the environmentally friendly disintegrating wiring harness, but besides that the mechanicals are pretty solid. I just bought my "forever" car (last new daily driver that'll ease me into retirement), but a 2015-16 E Class sedan is on my bucket list for future purchase. Beautiful design....
  • Rochester After years of self-driving being in the news, I still don't understand the psychology behind it. Not only don't I want this, but I find the idea absurd.
  • Douglas This timeframe of Mercedes has the self-disintegrating engine wiring harness. Not just the W124, but all of them from the early 90's. Only way to properly fix it is to replace it, which I understand to be difficult to find a new one/do it/pay for. Maybe others have actual experience with doing so and can give better hope. On top of that, it's a NH car with "a little bit of rust", which means to about anyone else in the USA it is probably the rustiest W124 they have ever seen. This is probably a $3000 car on a good day.
  • Formula m How many Hyundai and Kia’s do not have the original engine block it left the factory with 10yrs prior?
  • 1995 SC I will say that year 29 has been a little spendy on my car (Motor Mounts, Injectors and a Supercharger Service since it had to come off for the injectors, ABS Pump and the tool to cycle the valves to bleed the system, Front Calipers, rear pinion seal, transmission service with a new pan that has a drain, a gaggle of capacitors to fix the ride control module and a replacement amplifier for the stereo. Still needs an exhaust manifold gasket. The front end got serviced in year 28. On the plus side blank cassettes are increasingly easy to find so I have a solid collection of 90 minute playlists.