Code: 361536 A

The auto giant PSA Peugeot Citroen has become the first foreign company since the Jan. 16 implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action to obtain a license from the Iranian government to invest in Iran Khodro Co. (IKCO), the biggest car manufacturer in the country; al-monitor reported.

Jean-Christophe Quemard, PSA Peugeot Citroen’s executive vice president for Africa and the Middle East, said earlier this month that the next “big step” for the multinational automaker would be the creation of a joint venture this summer, the French business magazine Challenges reported April 6.

PSA Peugeot Citroen, a past IKCO partner, has just resumed deliveries of auto parts, after a four-year hiatus. Its abrupt 2012 pullout from the Iranian market as nuclear-related sanctions against Iran intensified upset Iranian authorities.

IKCO and Peugeot have apparently put aside their differences and agreed that each will hold a 50% stake in a 400 million euro ($452 million) joint venture to produce Peugeot 208, 2008 and 301 models over the next five years.

Under the agreement, the Iranians will fill the CEO position in the joint company while the French side will chair the board. The Iranians have required that manufacturing technology be transferred over the course of a few years, a policy implemented by President Hassan Rouhani’s administration as a prerequisite for any industrial partnership. Iran hopes this strategy will bring an end to the economic ostracism imposed on it by the West over the past decade.

Separately, earlier in April, Iran’s English-language Press TV reported that Volkswagen and its Skoda brand are also among the multinational automakers that have approached Iranian carmakers. VW is now weighing the selection of a local partner, likely Kerman Motor or Mammut Group, to position itself in the race to capture market share in Iran. Meanwhile, the Italians have wasted no time getting into the race.

Ahmad Pourfallah, head of the Iranian-Italian Chamber of Commerce, told that Fiat is finalizing negotiations with IKCO to buy a part of its shares and establish a joint venture later in the year.

Meanwhile, SAIPA, the second largest Iranian car manufacturer, has its own development plans as part of the broader national effort to boost the auto sector.

SAIPA will probably sell 49% of its shares to Citroen. The possibility of the establishment of a joint venture with Citroen was confirmed by Naser Agha-Mohammadi, SAIPA Group’s vice president for product development, in a recent interview with local media.

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IKCO Peugeot Citroen SAIPA
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