Tehran: After Iran’s historic nuclear agreement with world powers, carmakers and part suppliers are observed visiting Tehran to check the potential capability in the Iranian Market.
The International Conference of the Automotive Industry, which was the first event organized in Iran, united 150 companies from around the globe.
Industry Minister Mohammad Reza Nematzadeh said he wanted “more cooperation with foreign companies,” including French manufacturers Peugeot and Renault, both of which have had a long history of doing business with Iran. Nematzadeh said he hoped for the lifting of sanctions on the car industry “by the end of December.”
Iran and world powers reached an interim deal last week in Geneva, with Tehran agreeing to partially roll back its nuclear work in exchange for limited sanctions relief, including measures imposed on the car industry.
In 2011, Iran had the 11th largest car market in the world and was the 13th automobile producer.
Gilles Normand, director of operations for Renault in the Asia-Pacific market, said the Middle East represented a “future market” for all manufacturers.
In Iran “50 per cent of the fleet of over 20 million vehicles is more than 25 years old,” said Normand, whose company’s activities in Iran have been severely affected by US sanctions.
Renault, present since 2004 in Iran, sold more than 100,000 cars in 2012, accounting for 10 per cent of the market. Peugeot, which left Iran in spring 2012, sold 458,000 vehicles the previous year in Iran.
Sasan Ghorbani, the conference organiser, said government officials “were very clear about their support for foreign investors.” “There have been very good meetings here that will lead to future agreements.”