“It is expected that new carmakers will enter our country’s market and the prospect for the return of Peugeot and Renault is weak,” said Asqar Khosroshahi, the deputy head of Iran’s Auto Parts Manufacturers Association, Press TV reported.
Khosroshahi said Iranian carmakers would seek a different form of partnership with foreigners after a potential easing of US sanctions, a scenario which has become probable under a new administration in Washington.
He said companies like Peugeot would oppose partnership contracts that entail technology transfer and localization of parts manufacturing.
PSA Peugeot, once a dominant player in the Iranian car market, left the country in 2018 under increasing pressure from the US and despite pledges to increase its investment in Iran after the country reached a nuclear deal with world powers in 2015.
On Renault, Khosroshahi said the company has signaled that it would have no future in Iran by firing nearly 180 Iranian staff who had been working in France following Renault’s departure from Iran in 2018.
“It seems Renault is not considering further investment and a new opportunity in Iran,” he said.
Renault signed a contract with Iranian partners in 2017 to increase joint production in the country to 150,000 cars per year. However, the company suspended its joint venture activities in Iran after the US withdrew from Iran’s nuclear deal in 2018 and re-imposed sanctions on the country.
Iranian authorities have indicated that a return for the two French companies would be difficult given their failure to commit to their previous obligations.