Aletho News

ΑΛΗΘΩΣ

PSA Peugeot Citroen, Renault ready to return to Iran market

Press TV – November 30, 2013

French automakers PSA Peugeot Citroen and Renault are planning to return to Iran’s market following a recent nuclear deal reached between Tehran and six major world powers in Geneva which will ease sanctions on auto industry.

According to the Geneva deal, the EU and US sanctions on Iran’s petrochemical export, gold and precious metals and auto industry as well as the supply of spare parts for the Iranian airplanes would be suspended.

French auto giants are poised to resume vehicle sales in Iran to reclaim their share of the huge Iranian market they lost after the implementation of sanctions against Tehran over its nuclear energy program in 2011.

Peugeot and Renault are among Western companies sending representatives to a crucial auto conference that was to open in the Iranian capital, Tehran, on Saturday.

Their participation in the conference has been interpreted by the media as a sign to mark their early return to the Iranian market before other competitors.

Renault and Peugeot have been production partners of Iran’s domestic majors – Iran Khodro and SAIPA.

Official data show the sanctions against Iran led to the unemployment of 100,000 workers and undermined the output of the two French giants.

A day after the nuclear deal between Iran and the six countries, Peugeot’s shares soared 4.50 percent to 10.69 euros and Renault rose 1.43 percent to 65.35 euros.

Iran used to be Peugeot’s second-biggest market in car sales volumes before Western sanctions against Tehran were toughened. In 2011, Iran accounted for 13 percent of Peugeot’s annual sales.

Peugeot has experienced an estimated four billion euros in lost sales after cutting ties with Iranian automaker Iran Khodro in February 2012 under pressure from its American partner company General Motors.

On July 26, Renault reported a huge fall in profits for the first half of 2013 after writing off the entire value of its business in Iran due to the US-led sanctions against Tehran.

The firm took a 512-million-euro (680-million-dollar) charge after halting its activities in Iran.

Last year, Renault sold a total of 100,783 vehicles in Iran, and had a 10-percent market share. The Middle Eastern country was Renault’s eighth-biggest global market by sales, above Italy where Renault sold 96,144 units and Spain where it sold 83,366 cars.

On November 24, Iran and the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council – Russia, China, France, Britain and the US – plus Germany sealed an interim deal in the Swiss city of Geneva to lay the groundwork for the full resolution of the West’s decade-old dispute with Iran over its nuclear energy program.

November 30, 2013 Posted by | Economics, Wars for Israel | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

European companies likely to be losers in US-Iran rapprochement

RT | October 9, 2013

If the sanctions against Iran are lifted, the Iranians will look mainly towards American firms in the oil and automobile sector to fill the gap, George Malbrunot, a journalist for French newspaper Le Figaro, told RT.

RT: Both Iran and the US are signaling a thaw in their political relations – what effect will it this have on economic ties and business? Does it look like the US is attempting to force out other companies from the Iranian market?

George Malbrunot: I think already there have been some secret contacts between US firms and Iranian counterparts in order to prepare, to anticipate the political deal between Iran and the United States. Mainly these contacts have occurred in the automobile sector. For the last year or more there have been some emissaries from General Motors, for example, going to Tehran to see their Iranian counterparts from Iran Khodro, in order to prepare the ground for the [return] of General Motors to Iran, which was very important before 1979.

So there are these kind of contacts with not only GM but other big US companies, also in the oil and gas sectors, which are very important in Iran, and it has been encouraged recently by the executive order that Barack Obama signed on June, 3, which prevents subcontractors dealing with Iranian firms in the automobile sector. And in fact this executive order was deeply targeting the French who are the only one now in the automobile sector in Iran, especially Renault, and the French contractors are very upset about that. And they interpret it as an attempt to clean the Iranian market before the return of US companies in Iran.RT: In your article, you say American companies are securing their positions on the Iranian market – how is this happening?
GM: For the last six months, we’ve heard from Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Khomenei, that we are not any more opposed to direct contacts with the US. The businessmen are always more active in anticipating political deals and to anticipate change. During all these years of bad relations between Iran and the US there have always been some kind of secret contacts between US firms and Iranian firms. And mainly these contacts have been accelerated after the election of President Rouhani in Iran. And we’ve all seen at the last UN General Assembly in New York last month that now the Iranians are talking to the Americans. So there are preparations on the ground in order to go to Iran which is a huge market, 80 million consumers, with huge oil and gas resources, so it’s natural that US businessmen are watching very carefully the developments which happen between Iran and the US.

And not only US businessmen are very [eager] to go to Iran, but you have also the German businessmen, who have always been active, with Siemens for example, and even the British who have no diplomatic relations with Iran are now starting to [study] this market carefully. The Japanese are also very active. And unfortunately for us in France, we are perhaps the last in Europe to try to go to Iran, because for the last [few] years France was extremely active in fighting against Iran. France was exerting the pressure on Iran in order to implement the sanctions. So the French businessmen are very upset with what’s going on now, because for the last 20 years the US was [not in] Iran, and French businessmen had quite a good position in Iran – Total, Peugeot, Renault – and now they are afraid that all these years of efforts will be [wiped away] by the new deal which will happen between the US and Iran.

RT: Do you think we will be seeing an easing of sanctions against Iran soon?

GM: I think so, and the Iranians are a very proud nation and they have been always having very strange relations with Americans, love and hate, and once the sanctions will be lifted I’m quite sure the Iranians will look mainly toward American firms in the oil sector, in the automobile sector to fill the gap. So for sure European companies will be more probably losers in this kind of agreement.

I think that GM and even Chevrolet will go extremely quickly to Iran if there is a political agreement between the US and Iran, if the sanctions are lifted. I’m not sure that the Iranians will give a lot of pieces of the cake to French companies or others on this issue. And this is the reason why French companies are very worried about what’s going on in the shadow of this rapprochement between the US and Iran.

October 9, 2013 Posted by | Economics, Wars for Israel | , , , , | Leave a comment