US carmaker to cooperate with Iran
Baku, Azerbaijan, Dec. 6
By Umid Niayesh - Trend:
A senior official from a US-based carmaker company visited Tehran and held talks with the Iranian carmakers on mutual cooperation.
The US carmaker's representative was in Tehran to take part in the 2nd International Conference on Iran Auto Industry, held Dec. 1, the Iranian news agency ISNA reported Dec. 6 citing an Iranian official, who holds talks with foreign carmakers.
However, ISNA did not reveal further details about either the Iranian official, or the US carmaker and its representative.
The US-based company, which focuses on manufacturing electric cars, reached a common understanding on an initial cooperation, the official said without revealing the company's name.
The parties reached agreements on transferring technology, investments and joint manufacturing, the official added.
Iran reduced the tariff for importing electric and hybrid cars to zero.
Iran's industry, mine and trade minister, Mohammad Reza Nematzadeh said the decision was made to decrease air pollution in large cities.
"There is hope that the electric and hybrid cars will be manufactured next year domestically," he added.
The Iranian automobile industry, the biggest non-oil sector of the economy, constituting around 10 percent of GDP, boomed over the decade ending in 2011.
Iran's auto industry has been a major casualty of penalties imposed over its nuclear program, with production plummeting and workers being laid off because of the ensuing economic slowdown.
Total car production in Iran was 1.6 million in 2011, but it was halved two years later, due to US-led sanctions on the country's auto industry.
But the auto sanctions were lifted earlier this year after an interim nuclear agreement was reached between Iran and world powers and a final accord is still on the horizon, raising the prospect of better times for the industry.