Newly published figures suggest that car imports to Iran have significantly dropped in the first quarter of the current Persian calendar year (starting on March 21).
According to official statistics, the number of foreign cars brought into Iran in the Q1 dropped by 51% year-on-year.
In total, 10,555 cars were imported in the first three months of the current year, more than 50% down from 21,500 cars brought into the country during the same period last year.
The plunge is seen as part of the Iranian government’s plans to slash car imports in an effort to boost the country’s domestic auto industries.
The automobile industry is seen as Iran’s biggest non-oil sector, accounting for nearly 10% of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP).
Iran Khodro and Saipa companies account for more than 90 percent of the total domestic production in Iran.
Latest data shows that Iran ranks 18th on the list of the world’s top auto manufacturers.
The 2014 production statistics by the International Organization of Motor Vehicle Manufacturers (OICA) indicate Iran’s auto production increased by 46.7 percent in the 12-month period.
The figures show Iranian automakers produced 1,090,846 cars and commercial vehicles last year.
Meanwhile, Iran’s media reported on Saturday that the country’s auto industry could see a major rise in production of cars in 2015.
According to a survey conducted by the Business Monitor International (BMI), the production of cars in Iran could witness a 28% increase if Tehran and the P5+1 group of countries manage to secure a final deal over the Iranian nuclear program.
The BMI has added in its report that the final Iran deal – if ever reached – will play a crucial role in the development of the country’s auto industry.
BMI also forecast that Iran’s total auto output could rise to above 2 million cars within five years.