Whilst doing my usual scan of today’s news I saw an article which made me do a double take. And I mean a proper “Whaaaaaaaaat?!” I saw a couple of interesting things in it, I couldn’t believe my eyes. Then I saw who published it. The Tehran Times. So, treat this story with a pinch of salt.
A few weeks ago, I wrote about how the Iranian government was threatening to put the thumbscrews on Peugeot’s Iranian subsidiary. Possibly in an attempt to show the world how these global sanctions mean very little to them. Well, according to The Tehran Times, the Iranian government has nothing but a good friend in Peugeot.
They report that Jean-Marc Gales, an executive vice president and member of the managing board with PSA Peugeot-Citroen, has given Iran his vote of confidence. “We will proudly continue as before to do business with our Iranian partner,” he said (or “claimed” as the Tehran Times writes). First surprising thing: The French sticking two fingers up at global sanctions. That’s some ballsy stuff to say! (But then: Who was in Iraq before America moved in?)
The article then claims the second surprising element. That Iran represents 20 percent of Peugeot’s global sales. 20 percent?! That’s a lot.
Mr Gales then went on to discuss the need to increase exports of cars through Iran using the recent credit crisis as justification. “The crisis mostly troubled the U.S and Europe. Countries like Iran had no problem in this regard.” he said, “For this reason, Iran’s potential in the global market is significant and we would be content to expand our global market in the framework of enhancing our partnership.”
My first thought to all of this was that the Tehran Times wrote this story, hoping that it’ll give bad press to PSA around the world. Thereby, tightening the thumbscrews on PSA even further. But if it is all within context and accurate, I think it’s fair to say that I wouldn’t expect Peugeot (or Citroen) in America any time soon. I doubt they’ll be welcome there.