Iran's Khodro Unveils First Hybrid Car

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) -- Iran's Press TV says the state-run Khodro Co. has unveiled its first hybrid vehicle.

Press TV reported Thursday on its Web site that the new hybrid Samand LX will hit the market by March, the end of the current Iranian calendar year. Khodro is the Mideast's largest car maker.

The new vehicle is aimed at helping reduce dependence on gasoline. Until recently, Iran has heavily relied on refined fuel imports to meet local demand because of inadequate refining capacity.

Neither the report nor a statement on the company's Web site clarified if production had started.

Decades of sanctions, most recently over Iran's disputed nuclear program, have forced Iran to develop on its own key sectors such as the auto industry, aviation and oil and gas.