The Paykan (Persien:پيکان) was an automobile produced by the Iranian company Iran Khodro Industrial Group (formerly known as "Iran National Company"). The car was very popular in Iran from the late 1960s to the late 1990s. It is often referred to as the Iranian "chariot".
The design was introduced to Iran by Mahmoud Khayami, co-founder of the Iran Khodro or IKCO. He accurately predicted that Iran was in need of a simple "no-frills" automobile within the price range of ordinary folks.
In 1967, Rootes began exporting Hunters to Iran Khodro in "complete knock down" (CKD) kit form, for assembly in Iran. In 1972 it seemed that every car in Iran was a Paykan. By the mid 1970s, full scale manufacturing of the car, minus the engine, had started in Iran.
In 1978, Peugeot took ownership of the Rootes company after it collapsed under the partnership Chrysler Europe; a year later Peugeot ended Hunter production. Thereafter, the Paykan's engine production tooling was moved to Iran and was in full-scale production under Peugeots license until 2005.
Although Paykan was based on an old 1966 model, there was many changes and modifications made to it over the years, most notably, the substitution for the original 1725 cc Rootes engine, o a Peugeot 504-derived unit. The modifications to the exterior included a new stock body kit and head an tail lights.
The Iranian govrenment reportedly offered Iran Khodro a large cash incentive to end Paykan production by 2005, labeling the car as an environmental hazard because of its high fuel consumption. During its last years, it had a two year backlog for orders.
The Samand, commonly referred to as the "New Paykan", is currently being produced by Iran Khodro as a modren substitute for the Paykan class of cars. In 2005, Iran Khodro annoonced that it had sold the discontinued Paykan's automobile production line to the Khartoum Transportation Company in Sudan, while auto-parts production for the Paykan still continues by third party manufacturers in Iran.
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