Global automakers are gearing up for the approaching day when Iran’s car market would be open again, establishing plans to take over one of the last remaining emerging market growth strongholds.
French automaker Renault is now planning to launch in the Islamic Republic a version of its newly introduced India-exclusive Kwid small crossover, according to a senior executive that talked to Reuters recently. According to Gerard Detourbet, the Renault-Nissan alliance vice-president who was in charge of overseeing the development of Kwid’s new low-cost architecture, the newly introduced models has already been highlighted by potential Iranian partners. “This kind of car could be a good match for the (Iranian) market,” commented the executive in an interview. “We have already presented the car to people, and they are interested,” Detourbet added. “But between the interest and the decision to do it, there is still some time.” French peers PSA Peugeot Citroen and German European powerhouse Volkswagen AG have been establishing plans to reestablish their lost businesses in Iran after the country’s breakthrough deal with Western powers – they would slow their nuclear activities in return for sanction cuts.
PSA Peugeot Citroen has already said it is negotiating with Iranian partners for a production joint venture in order to upgrade their older model lineup to recoup the top market position it held until sanctions were tightened back in 2011. Renault, who had been selling on the Iranian market the first generation Logan affordable sedans has launched in India the Kwid on Detourbet’s “CMF-A” vehicle platform and the company will seek to have one million vehicles sold each year on the architecture with several future models in tow.