Amordad News

Death Anniversary of Mahmoud Khayami; Founder of automotive industry of Iran

Translated by Shabboo Goli

Today is Dey be-Mehr Izad and the month of Esfand in year 3759 of Zoroastrian calendar, 9th of Esfand 1400, February 28, 2022 AD.

Seyed Mahmoud Khayami, entrepreneur and craftsman, one of the most significant owners of Iran’s automotive industry, the founder of Iran Khodro, passed away on February 28, 2020, in London. He also has cultural and educational activities in his works record.

Mahmoud Khayami, along with ahmad Khayami, are among the most prominent Iranian entrepreneurs and industrialists. Wherever the name of Iran Khodro Company, for many known as “Iran National”, is mentioned the names of these two brothers also follow. The two brothers were from the poorest classes of society, who step by step achieved the highest industrial and economic success, starting from washing cars, selling parts and doing mechanical work.

Khayami and is brother A.Khayami took their first step in automation industry in Tehran, in 1949, by obtaining a bus manufacturing license. They bought land on Karaj Road and gradually set up a repair shop, a car room workshop, a spare parts store, and a car seat manufacturing workshop. Then, they went into collaboration with Mercedes Benz representative in Iran and took bus chassis from them, on which they built the room. They also built a small toilet and a refrigerator for the bus. The seat manufacturing workshop later became an inspiration for the construction of the first large scale furniture factory called “Mobliran” in Iran. Iran Car Assembly Workshop was also founded in 1962 under “Iran National,” which manufactured 10 automobiles and 7 heavy vehicles, “Mercedes-Benz buses and trucks” daily.

Seven years after its founding, it was announced that its capital had more than doubled and that it was one of Asia’s largest automakers in terms of quality and quantity. Then, in 1973, Iran Nacional announced that self-sufficiency in the production of spare parts was at the top of its agenda. “Rang Khodro” “Spring Factory on Karaj Road,” “Casting Company” Reza Company in Mashhad “Current Mashhad Ring Manufacturing” and the Foundation and two conservatories for training technicians were among them.

Peykan was designed by a subsidiary of the British Rootes factory. However, Peykan was not an exact copy of the English model, and Iranian engineers and designers made changes in its design from the beginning and adapted it to the tastes of Iranians. For example, the creation of the bumper, dashboard, steering wheel, and even the Peykan upholstery was done by Iranian engineers. All the factory workers and engineers were also Iranians.

The advertisement for the sale of Peykan, which said: “The result of the talents of Iranian engineers and the hard work of Iranian workers” was not said in vain; it was true. For the assembly line and construction of Peykan, an annual capacity of 25,000 units was considered, and with the same number of production, they started working. The Khayyamis were among the first entrepreneurs to build houses for their employees, which was named Peykan city.

With the help of another group of Iranian investors, M. Khayami founded the Industry and Mines Bank, and Kurosh chain stores (present-day Quds) in those same years.

In 1977, Iran National competed with Korea’s Hyundai and announced that they wanted to take Peykan off the production line and enter a global partnership with Peugeot. M. Khayami believed that if this trend continued for another 8-10 years, Iran would no longer need the oil industry.

After the revolution all their property, including the factories, was confiscated and the brothers left the country. Ahmad went to Canada and Mahmoud to England. Peykan production ended in 2004, and its last car was sent to the museum.

M.Khayami became the sole representative of Benz in London and 7 other cities in Britain and in US. He is also the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Iranica University. With the wealth he gained from selling Mercedes in the United States, he started building schools in the rural areas of his province (Khorasan) and continued to do so until he became one of the largest school builders in the country’s history. Mahmoud Khayami is also the director of the Khayami Foundation, founded by him in 2000.

In addition to charitable activities in health, children, and refugees, the foundation also has activities in the field of interfaith dialogue. In recent years, he has built hundreds of schools in the villages of Khorasan province and eight large educational complexes in Mashhad. He had also completed construction of 18 “work and knowledge” centers in Khorasan province costing 18 billion tomans. Khayyami has several emblems and titles from Western authorities, including the CBE “Commander of the British Empire,” KSS emblem, or “St. Sylvester.”

Ahmad died in 2000 in Canada, and Mahmoud passed away on February 28, at the age of 90, in London.

The fifteenth day of each month in the Zoroastrian calendar is called Dey be-Mehr. Three days in each Zoroastrian month is associated with the prefix “dey.” The eighth, fifteenth, and twenty-third days of the Zoroastrian month are known by the suffix of the day’s name to avoid mistakes; For example, the day after Dey be-Mehr is Mehr day.

Dey in Avestan is” Dathush,” which means God and Lord. Dey days of each month are days of public worship, going to the fire temple and sympathy, and rest days in Zoroastrianism.

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