16 Apr 2024
Saturday 24 February 2024 - 18:40
Story Code : 415847
Source : Iran Project

Hamid Keshavarz, an industrialist who revives Iran Khodro

The Iran Project : Recently, the video of a private sector manager's talk with Iran's Supreme Leader has been published online. A film, in which the founder of Crouse Production Industries Company pledges to the Leader to reform and save Iran Khodro (IKCO). What experience and abilities does this person enjoy that can fulfill this promise? Will Hamid Keshavarz be the savior of the unprofitable Iran Khodro Company?
Hamid Keshavarz, the founder and owner of Crouse Group
Hamid Keshavarz, the founder and owner of Crouse Group
According to The Iran Project, during Iran's Leader's visit to the country's economic achievements exhibition, the founder and owner of Crouse Group elaborated on the company's achievements, asking Ayataoollah Khamenei to come up with legal ways to transfer the management of Iran Khodro to his industrial group.

Despite the small shares it directly has in Iran Khodro Co., the government prevents the transfer of its management to the private sector shareholder, Keshavarz stated.

He went on to say that by taking over the management of Iran Khodro, he will bring it to its true position within 5 years, and otherwise, he is ready to accept the consequences of this issue.

Further, some media raised the question, "What ability does Hamid Keshavarz enjoy and what plan does he have for the revival and profitability of Iran Khodro and its exit from bankruptcy?"

Iran Khodro Co., a bankrupt company that the government will not

With a glance at the situation of Iran Khodro (Iran's largest automaker), it can be easily realized that this company is practically bankrupt according to Article 141 of the Trade Law.

Currently, IKCO has sunk into such accumulated losses and inefficient management on the one hand, and the inflation of the employee and the manager as well as lots of commitments on the other hand that no veteran manager dares to take its helm.

A few days ago, it was announced that IKCO is facing accumulated losses of more than 100 thousand billion tomans, and if the limit of its credit obligations with the banks does not increase, it will not be able to continue producing and fulfilling commitments.

Despite the privatization and handing over of Iran Khodro shares to the public through the stock exchange, the government still does not abandon the management of this company to preserve its backyard. This is while, the government possesses only about 5% shares, and the rest of the shares are owned by the people and the private sector. According to Keshavar, only companies close to Crouse Group own 30% of Iran Khodro's shares.

Who is Hamid Keshavarz?

Here is a brief look at the records of this little-known but great manager
of the Iranian and West Asian auto industry.

Crouse company is the largest auto parts maker in West Asia with more than approximately 600 million dollars in annual sales (estimated based on internet data searches).

Iran Khodro and SAIPA are the two major customers of this company, and if providing parts to these companies is interrupted, the production of most of their products will tackle challenges.

In the field of parts manufacturing by establishing its "research and innovation unit", and with an investment of 3 million dollars and cooperation with more than 250 academic elites, Crouse Group has reached a position where the French companies left Iran, it could fill their place in the manufacture of advanced and sensitive parts such as ECU and practically save Iran Khodro from stopping production.

The significance of the 40-year history in the parts manufacturing industry increases when we realize that today the role of the car manufacturer in car production is 20% and the role of the parts manufacturer in this process is estimated at 80%.

Meanwhile, in the design process, the role of the car manufacturer is estimated at 33% and the role of the parts maker at 67%, and the entry of parts makers into the field of car manufacturing and vertical growth is a successful global experience.

Some media believe that this group also has the Bahman group, a successful car manufacturer that was saved from bankruptcy and now its products are at
the top of the demand in its class and in the first hour of the sale in the Iranian car sales system, its quota will be exhausted.

Therefore, it can be said that Keshavarz enjoys two notable capabilities in the complexes he built or saved from bankruptcy, one is making parts and the other is managing the Bahman Industrial Group.

Another strength of Hamid Keshavarz and the group under his management is that they do not have any foreign currency or rial (Iran currency) debts to banks and financial institutions.

This is a crucial point because it indicates that unlike some other people claiming privatization, he is not seeking to dominate the assets of Iran Khodro. Rather, he plans to help with the process of settling the debts and accumulated losses of this company.

Also, what makes the acquisition of Iran Khodro shares different from the rentier and disastrous privatizations of the past years is that the Crouse Group bought these shares in the competitive stock market at a fair price and gradually.

Keshavarz's interest in the production and empowerment of the country has also been proven in the past years. In the days when some people sought to invest outside the country, he has invested inside Iran and the complexes under his management are profitable.

So, the four factors of extensive experience in parts manufacturing, successful management in automobile making, having sufficient capital, and the desire and even prejudice to stay in Iran as well as effort and investment for their progress are important tools and motivations in the hands of Hamid Keshavarz
to save Iran Khodro.

How could be solved the problem of importing raw materials and auto parts?

One of the major challenges Keshavarz faces in current companies and Iran Khodro in the future is the import of raw materials and necessary parts. This big challenge, which for other countries only exists in two factors, price, and quality, is tied to an important factor in Iran called "sanctions".

The brutal American sanctions have seriously targeted the Iranian car industry intending to make Iranians dissatisfied and that was the reason why Peugeot, Renault, and some other companies left Iran during the past years.

The Americans are actively seeking to cut off the production chain of automobiles and their parts in Iran with the cooperation of their spy organizations and internal profit-seeking agents.

individuals and companies active in this field have been subjected to severe sanctions, an example of which is the sanction of the Bahman Company and Iran's automobile industry simultaneously.

In such circumstances, importing raw materials and some parts has become a difficult challenge.

In the past, Crouse imported most of its parts from Germany and Japan, and even if it imported something from China, it paid more to receive quality materials such as what it delivered to Europeans. 

‌However, with the help of some individuals both inside and outside Iran, the US was able to discover channels that have been used to bypass the sanctions.

Crouse Company and Hamid Keshavarz have shown that they could always find alternatives such as their great efforts in the domestication
of parts.

Will Hamid Keshavarz succeed in reviving the Iran Khodro Company?

In these difficult conditions, investors are supposed to join Iran Khodro's management, who have been highly skilled in the automobile manufacturing industry over the past 40 years and have recorded successful experiences in this field, Now, without any bank debts they are looking to stay inside the country and help to its development.

Keshavarz saved the large automobile industries of this country with thousands of workers and their families from bankruptcy, especially in the crisis that took place in 2013 after the exit of Peugeot and other automobile companies from the country, and he proved that with this experience and background, he can save Iran Khodro from imminent bankruptcy.

On the other hand, Keshavarz, his partners, and colleagues are not strangers to Iran Khodro's issues and problems. Iran Khodro needs a fundamental change in its business perspective and it must supply several economic cars with maximum domestication to the consumer market within a short period of time. It seems that Keshavarz is also looking for the realization of this issue.

It can be said that the combination of suitable capital, sufficient knowledge, and necessary experience in the automotive industry will help Keshavarz and his colleagues to take the necessary steps to revive Iran Khodro.

Keshavarz's most important asset is his motivation and interest in the country and the automotive industry in which he specializes, and this serious motivation, with the help of the authorities and their trust in him and the support of other stakeholders, will make him successful.
Reporter : Editorial of The Iran Project
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