By John Lee.
The head of the Renault-Nissan alliance has said the company is ready to expand its manufacturing footprint in Iran once sanctions are lifted.
Carlos Ghosn (pictured) told reporters that the company will be “extremely careful” in how it proceeds, but added, “Iran is a very promising market … Today it’s more than one million cars, it has the potential to go to 1.5 or 2 million.”
The report from The China Post says the rate of car ownership in Iran is just 100 per 1,000 people — six times less than in Europe — and consumers have had limited access to new vehicles since economic sanctions prompted some automakers to leave the country.
An official with Pars Khodro told The Wall Street Journal in July that the Renault was negotiating taking a minority stake in the state-owned automaker, and may buy facilities like the auto factories of Pars Khodro parent Saipa.
Meanwhile, French rival PSA Peugeot Citroen — which left Iran in 2012 as a result of the sanctions — is said to be involved in “intense discussions” with its former partner Iran Khodro over creating a new joint enterprise.
It signed an accord in October to distribute its luxury brand DS in Iran.
(Source: The China Post)