Iran said on Sunday that it has issued the authorization for imports of automobiles produced by the American carmaker giant Chevrolet.
The announcement has been made by the Trade Promotion Organization of Iran which says two of the company’s models – Chevrolet Trax and Chevrolet Aveo – have received the required licenses to be imported into Iran. Both models are subcompact cars and are currently assembled in South Korea.
The TPO has also announced that it has approved imports of an Opel model – named Insignia Limousine.
Iranian officials said last April that US carmakers have expressed interest to operate in Iran’s auto market. They said early discussions to the same effect have already started for the presence of American car companies in Iran once the sanctions against the country are lifted.
Meanwhile, Mohsen Salehi-Niya, a deputy industries minister, had said at the same time that Iran says there is no obstacle for investment of US companies in its auto sector, but they should respect certain rules.
The preconditions, Salehi-Niya had told the media, are “mutual cooperation, creation and expansion of industrial units, investments, creation of platforms and developing them, promoting [Iran’s] domestic industries and using the capabilities of domestic parts producers’.
General Motors and Ford were specifically named as the leading American automakers that are looking into the prospects of investing in the Iranian market. This, however, was never officially confirmed.
The automobile industry is seen as Iran’s biggest non-oil sector. It accounts for nearly 10 percent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP).
Latest data shows that Iran ranks 18th on the list of the world’s top auto manufacturers.
Iran Khodro and Saipa companies account for more than 90 percent of the total car production in the country.
Iran imported 102,000 cars during last Persian calendar year (ended March 20, 2015,) showing a 31% year-on-year increase.