During the Iranian President Rouhani’s visit to France, Renault reaffirmed its strong intentions to resume its business in the country.
The first European tour of the Iranian President Hassan Rouhani concluded with a business deal for the French automaker PSA Peugeot Citroen, but not for its rival. However, Renault wanted to reaffirm its position on a re-enter in Iran, as it is a very important market for its strategy, the company said in a statement. For more than ten years, Renault Pars, a joint venture with Iran’s two main auto manufacturers, Saipa and Iran Khodro, has enabled the French Group to produce nearly 500,000 vehicles in the country. In 2015, two new vehicles were build, the Logan Pick-up with Iran Khodro and the Sandero with Saipa. “Thanks to the lifting of economic sanctions against Iran on January 16, and as soon as smooth relations have resumed between French and Iranian banks, Renault will considerably intensify operations in Iran and prepare future model releases in association with its two local partners,” Renault said. “With a market amounting to two million vehicles by 2020, Iran has undeniable potential. Renault has ambitious plans in Iran and advanced discussions are currently underway with Saipa and Iran Khodro to step up our presence, develop our structures and support the automobile sector in Iran,” Bernard Cambier, Director of the Africa-Middle East-India region, added.
Peugeot Citroen did not wait for “smooth relations” to be resumed and announced last week it has reached an agreement for a 50:50 venture with Iran Khodro. The plan is to start the production of 100,000 vehicles a year in the second half of 2017, and to double the output capacity at a later stage. For revamping the 50 years old factory near Teheran, both sides agreed to invest 400 million euros (435 million dollars) in the next five years for building Peugeot’s 208 hatchback, 301 sedan and 2008 crossover.
After unveiling the joint venture with PSA, Iranian Industry Minister Mohammad Reza Nematzadeh told a business forum that Iran is negotiating with other French car companies. It is expected to take a couple of months to finalise further deals, he said.