Chevrolet Officially Entering Iran

Chevrolet Officially  Entering Iran
Chevrolet Officially  Entering Iran

Chevrolet, the large American automaker owned by General Motors, has been granted an official license to sell its cars in Iran, Donayaye Khodro reported on Wednesday.

The company credited with the official license is called Saham Pajoohan Mehr (SPM) based in Tehran, according to the official list of national car licensees released this week on Sobhane Online.

When the Financial Tribune contacted SPM for a confirmation of the landmark deal, one company representative on the phone, who didn't give her name, said "yes the deal is real," adding, "We have been given the license for the Chevrolet brand in mainland Iran." The representative added that the company has not yet begun importing the cars. The company director did not respond to further questions by the time we went to print.

It is currently unknown which models will be arriving on this side of the Persian Gulf; however, considering the region's penchant for big vehicles expect the larger SUV and sedan models making it to the country's forecourts at first instance.

The new deal has only been possible since the nuclear agreement in Lausanne, Switzerland, was signed in April between the so-called P5+1 group of countries and Iran over the latter's nuclear energy program.

In October 2013, France's Le Figaro, reported that General Motors had been in secret discussions with Iran's automakers to produce GM branded models in Iranian auto plants. Since then, Peugeot Renault and Citroen have all inked deals with local manufacturers to produce new models in the country from this year Iranian calendar year.

Chevrolet has been absent in the Iranian market for over 34 years with many in the country remembering the 1970s models around the country.

In 1972, Sherkat-Sahami, the company which used to make complete knock down kits of American cars (CKD), inked a deal with GM and formed General Motors Iran Ltd. The local subsidiary produced Opels under license, using the Chevrolet banner. The company also produced Buick and Cadilllac models. In 1981, the companies parted ways after the relations between the United States and the Islamic Republic deteriorated.

General Motors' cars haven't been entirely absent from some areas of Iran, with the country's many free zones bucking the trend and having been granted a license to import and register American brands.

Currently no further details on the surprising Chevrolet license have been released by the country's Persian auto blogs; however, a deal of this magnitude is likely to garner a lot of media attention as details become clearer.