So, Iran looks to be one of the Next Big Things for automakers in their chase to find lower cost manufacturing, but it's clear that the country's auto industry has much bigger aspirations than serving as China's slave labor. Iran already imports "knockdown kits" from Asia, but in an attempt to fully mature its auto industry, the country continues to work towards the manufacture of its own engine.

Make no mistake, though - exporting parts will still be a large part of what the country does. Iran's export of automotive components is expected to top $300M in 2006 (a healthy 67% increase over the '05 levels), and sales of $1B/year are in the country's five-year plan. It should be interesting to see if any of these parts make it to the West, and if so, how well they are received.