Chinese Rivalry

A Battle for Space on Desert Roads

resized Truck in Iran source National Geographic Getty Images 66738364
If German truck manufacturers have anything to do with it, Iran's roads will become a lot more crowded.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    An expected boom in the Middle Eastern truck market will serve as a litmus test for Chinese companies and whether they can compete against Mercedes-Benz, MAN and others on the global stage.

  • Facts


    • Iran and the whole of the Middle East are considered to be the next growth region for truck manufacturers.
    • China’s Dongfeng has taken the lead in building up strong positions in Iran, Egypt, and in the United Arab Emirates, followed by Sinotruck.
    • The demand for trucks in Iran is expected to increase in the next ten years by 63 percent, in Turkey by 48 percent, and in Saudi Arabia by 40 percent.
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Wolfgang Bernhard was in a great rush. The sanctions on Iran had hardly been lifted in mid-January, when the man in charge of trucks at Mercedes Benz maker Daimler was already on his way to Tehran.

“Everything is still there to make trucks,” reported Mr. Bernhard. The production of trucks with the Iranian partner, Khodro, was supposed to resume quickly.

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