As governmental negotiations proceed with Iran, Renault is going forward with plans to resume exporting car parts there, pending the easing of trade sanctions. Gilles Normand, chairman of the automaker’s Asia-Pacific region, said in a Tehran interview, “We can start the preparatory work” with suppliers while “waiting for the go-ahead on the possibility to exports parts to Iran.”
Weeks prior to the historic deal reached between Iran and the “P5+1″ group of nations, TTAC reported on some of the machinations going on behind the scenes regarded the United States, France and their respective auto industries ability to do business in Iran. We put forth the theory that any deal with Iran would be a boon to auto manufacturers, who would have access to a market expected to be worth 1.5 million units in a few short years, with a very young population and a standard of living that is substantially better than many highly touted emerging markets.
At the time of publication, we encountered significant dismissal, if not disagreement. But as it turned out, negotiations had been ongoing since the start of 2013, and the preliminary deal appears to make the auto industry a big winner.
An obscure story in the Azerbaijani press this past summer may be the tip of a much larger iceberg involving General Motors, PSA Peugeot Citroen and the Western World’s current bete noir: the Iranian regime currently embroiled at the heart of a controversial nuclear program, which is subject to economic sanctions by the United States government, including those that specifically target Iran’s automotive industry.
Citing reports from Iran’s Mehr news agency, an Azerbaijani news outlet reported that an unspecified number of brand new Chevrolet Camaro RS 2LT convertibles were imported by a division of Iranian conglomerate Iran Khodro. According to the report, the Camaros were sent from Miami to Paris, and then from Paris to Tehran via a Qatar Airways plane. The report also states that US Customs and Border Patrol documents list the final destination as the Aras Free Trade and Industrial Zone.
While Russia, Indonesia, Brazil and even Burma get the majority of the car industry’s attention when it comes to emerging markets, Iraq is also considered to be an up-and-coming place to sell cars. Iraqis have a funny habit of enjoying cars that are linked to foreign armies; American cars are fairly popular in the country, and so are Iranian machines too.
The last time we went to Iran with Best Selling Cars Around The Globe was in April 2011 – in other words an eternity because at that time I didn’t have access to official production figures, so it’s time for a thorough update.
Not into 80s Peugeots and Kias (yes that’s what the Iranians buy)? That’s ok, you can discover the best-selling models in 167 additional countries and territories in my blog. Or today I can also offer you the Top 277 best-selling models in the USA over the first 9 months 2012…
Back to Iran.
Sanctions imposed on Iran by the EU and the United States have compelled PSA to delay parts shipments to Iran Khodro until September at the earliest.
Even as the EU sanctions continue to add up, Iran’s national car maker is going in the opposite direction. Iran Khodro is set to launch a new engine family that will comply with the latest Euro-IV emissions regulations for use in their Peugeot-based models.
Car companies severing ties with Iran are making headlines. After GM’s new partner PSA decided to stop sending parts to Iran, Hyundai “has quietly ended its business dealings with Iran, where it had extensive operations,” says the New York Times. The Times chalks this up as a win for “United Against Nuclear Iran, an American group that has advocated economic sanctions.” UANI keeps a list of companies that still do business with Iran, it also lists companies that have withdrawn from doing so. Hyundai has received a check mark in the “withdrawn” list.
Detroit is looking nervously at that list. Let’s have a look as well. (Read More…)
Now we know why GM bought seven percent of PSA, a move for which most of the industry had no explanation. Forget overcapacity and scale effects. It was a carefully crafted plan to bring traffic in the Iran to a halt. Stuxnet is nothing compared to this. (Read More…)
In the nice problem to have department, Shell is doing its very best (or so they say) to settle a $1 billion bill for about four large tanker loads of Iranian crude. The problem: Sanctions make payments to Iran hard if not impossible. (Read More…)
As a member of The Tribe with an Iranian best friend, the general policy on politics pertaining to the Middle East is “don’t talk about it” (although like most young Iranians, my friend’s take on Ahamadinejad would make Rick Santorum look like a capitulating Ayatollah-sympathizer). The same policy seems to have come up in the last week or two, as talks of a General Motors/PSA tie-up have surfaced. Peugeot has an Iranian best friend, and it may have some interesting implications if the deal goes through.
Recounting which cars are the best sellers in some parts of the world can be a trip down memory lane. Like last weekend when we visited Russia, a country dominated by a 30 year old Lada model.
Get ready for some really fond déjà vu. This week, we are going to ‘economically isolated’ Iran, where the best selling cars are surprisingly familiar. (Read More…)
When I graduated as an engineer, little did I know that I would be going to end up working inside a car (or truck) assembly site, even less so in one controlled by a rogue government that has a big bull’s-eye painted on it on a map in Langley, Virginia.
But life is what it is, and usually it tends to bring people to interesting situations and places. Still not convinced? Go and read one chapter of Niedermeyer Sr biography, Herr Schmitt’s autobiography, or any of Baruth’s racey adventures.
So in one of the hair needle turns of my life, I ended up spending some time around Iran’s national car. It wasn’t in Iran, but under Hugo Chavez. (Read More…)
There’s a slightly used 1977 Peugeot 504 on the market, and the last bid stood at one million $.
One owner only: Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. His car was put on an international auction this Saturday, Iranian state media reported as per the Business Recorder. According to Iran’s official IRNA news agency, the bid came from an Arab country. (Read More…)