Economy, Auto

Foreign Automakers Await Iran's Nuclear Deal

Foreign Automakers Await Iran's Nuclear Deal
Foreign Automakers Await Iran's Nuclear Deal

Foreign automakers from South Korea, Japan and the US will want to start operating in Iran again once Tehran and the six world powers clinch a final nuclear agreement, secretary of Iran Vehicle Manufacturers Association said.

In the past, Chevrolet and Cadillac both had manufacturing lines in Iran, these brands can start to produce locally once more if the sanctions on Iran are lifted, ILNA quoted Ahmad Nematbakhsh as saying.

Chevrolet has been absent in the Iranian market for over 34 years with many in the country remembering the 1970s models; a handful still ply the Iranian roads.

In 1972, Sherkat-Sahami, the company that used to make complete knock-down kits of American cars, 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 Cadillac models. In 1981, the companies parted ways after relations between the United States and the Islamic Republic deteriorated.

General Motors' cars have not been entirely absent from some areas of Iran, with the country's many free zones bucking the trend by acquiring a license to import and register American brands.

According to Nematbakhsh, for future auto deals, foreign companies will be invited to submit tenders so that the most competitive company may win in fair situations.

Automakers will have to put factors such as competitiveness and reasonable pricing high on the agenda. Foreign companies that come to work in Iran will have to take on 40% of local laborers and export 30% of the vehicles produced, the official said.

He added Iran has set up official representation offices and after-sales services in Syria and Iraq, hence car exports should expand to the European Union in future.