Iran’s auto output soars after sanctions lifted

Baku, Azerbaijan, Sept. 1

By Fatih Karimov, Dalga Khatinoglu - Trend:

The Information Network for Iran Production and Trade, affiliated with the Ministry of Industry, Mining, and Trade reported on August 31 that the country's car production has risen significantly after two years of decline.

Iranian carmakers manufactured 404,010 vehicles in the first five months of the current Iranian year (March 21-August 22), a 73.4 percent rise year on year.

Meanwhile, 345,217 passenger cars were produced in the five-month period, showing 74.3 percent rise compared to the same period in the past year.

Based on official statistics, Iranian carmakers produced 624,000 cars in Iranian year 1392 (March 2013-March 2014), a 29 percent and 55 percent decrease annually compared to the last two years respectively.

This is while after cutting relationswith French carmakers in 2010, former Vice president of Iran, Mohammad Reza Rahimi said that "Iran can make France's economy collapse and return 100 years back."

In October 2010, the spokesperson of French carmaker Peugeot announced that "transactions with Iran accounts for just one percent of our financial turnover."

Arash Mohebbinejad, the secretary of the Iranian car part makers union, told ISNA news agency on April 29 that the Iranian car industry had suffered a "partial stroke."

He explained that the country's car exports sharply declined in the past year, so that just about 10,000 cars were exported, a 80 percent decline year on year.

He noted that the domestic carmakers suffered some 40 trillion rials (about $1.3 billion) worth of losses over the past two years.

Sanctions against the Iranian car industry were lifted in the wake of an interim nuclear deal which took effect in January.

The national document for the development of the car industry, which was ratified on August 4, has envisaged the country's GDP will reach $1.158 billion in 2025, and that the car industry will have a share of $47.5 billion in GDP. In other words, the car industry's share of GDP will reach 4.1 percent in the next 11 years.

The World Bank has put Iran's GDP at $369 billion in 2013, compared with $528 billion in 2011. The car industry's share of GDP is currently about 1.7 percent.

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