Major Automakers to Take Part in Upcoming Tehran Conference

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Major automakers from Japan, South Korea, France and Germany are to take part in a conference in Tehran in late November, said an industry insider, who sees this as a sign the US-led imposed sanctions against the country have not been effective.

Major Automakers to Take Part in Upcoming Tehran Conference

“Such major automakers as Nissan, KIA Motors, Renault, Peugeot, and Suzuki will attend a November 29 International Tehran Automobile Industry Conference, in which two other big companies, Hyundai and Volkswagen, whose contracts with Iranian automakers have expired, will also be represented,” Davoud Mirkhani Rashti told Tasnim News Agency.

He said that the participation of some major European car manufacturers among the participants in the event is a sign the US-led sanctions imposed on Iran have proved to be an ineffective tool and that the US needs to make revisions to them.

On June 3, the US Treasury Department announced a new round of sanctions against anyone involved in Iran’s auto industry and anyone caught using Iran’s currency, the rial, for “significant transactions.”

Mirkhani Rashti said all major companies which have contract with Iranian automakers have been invited to the international conference, and that there will be specialized sessions with the representatives of these companies.

Iran’s automotive industry is the second largest industry of the country, after its oil and gas industry, accounting for 10% of the country's GDP.

Iran's automobile production crossed the 1 million mark in 2007/2008. Iranian car manufacturers produced 1.648 million cars in 2011, ranking the country 13th in the world, according to a report by the International Organization of Motor Vehicle Manufacturers. But the tough sanctions imposed on the country's auto production has caused Iran's position to fall to 21st two years later.

As of 2001, there were 13 public and privately owned automakers in Iran, of which two - Iran Khodro and Saipa - accounted for 94% of the total domestic production.

The sector directly employs about 500,000 people (roughly 2.3% of the workforce), and many more in related industries. About 75% of local output is passenger cars, with pick-ups the next largest category, accounting for around 15%.

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