France’s automaker Renault is looking for a financial partner to resume activities in Iran, a top Renault executive has said.
Renault’s Chief Performance Officer Jerome Stoll said in Istanbul late on Wednesday that the French carmaker is willing to resume vehicle assembly cooperation with Iran’s automakers Iran Khodro and Pars Khodro.
He also stated that Renault is determined to take back the significant market position it enjoyed before the US-led sanctions on Iran were toughened in 2012.
Renault was forced in July 2013 to halt completely knocked down (CKD) shipments to Iran when the US government extended economic sanctions against the Islamic Republic to the automobile sector.
Renault reported a huge fall in profits for the first half of 2013 after writing off the entire value of its business in Iran. The firm suffered a loss of 512 million euros (USD 680 million) after halting its activities in the Islamic Republic.
In 2012, Renault sold a total of 100,783 vehicles in Iran, and had a 10-percent market share. The Islamic Republic was Renault’s eighth-biggest global market by sales, above Italy and Spain.
The news comes as Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council – China, Russia, Britain, France, and the United States – plus Germany have begun drafting a final deal on the Islamic Republic’s nuclear energy program with a view to easing sanctions against Tehran.
The two sides clinched a landmark interim deal in the Swiss city of Geneva on November 24, 2013.
Under the Geneva Joint Plan of Action, the six countries undertook to provide Iran with some sanctions relief in exchange for Iran agreeing to limit certain aspects of its nuclear activities during a six-month period.