Iranian carmakers need $2b to meet production target: official

TEHRAN – Iranian carmakers need $2 billion to meet the production target for the current Iranian calendar year, which began on March 21, a member of the board of directors of the association of Iranian car part makers said on Tuesday.

“The Ministry of Industry, Mines and Trade has set a production target of 1.3 million cars by the end of the current year. To meet the target, some $2 billion is needed,” the IRNA News Agency quoted Mohammad Reza Najafimanesh as saying.

Car manufacturing in Iran dropped 20.2 percent in the previous Iranian calendar year, ISNA reported on April 21, citing official statistics.

Iran’s roughly 2,000 auto parts manufacturers are growing thin, as hundreds of them became bankrupt or switched to other business areas when sanctions on Iran’s trade were imposed by the U.S. and EU, according to a Financial Times report published in March.

The report quoted Farhad Behnia, a member of the Iranian auto parts association, as saying, “The pressure that banks exert on parts makers is far bigger than the Tax Organization. Out of 860 members of the association, 20% have shut down their factories. Everywhere in the world, governments decrease bank rates to support producers.”

Meanwhile, on March 16, the chairman of the Competition Council of Iran said both car buyers and car manufacturers are unhappy with the current situation, a situation in which buyers are complaining about high prices and auto companies are saying they are suffering losses.

Reza Shiva said spare parts manufacturers are also saying that their money has not been paid.

To counter such a situation some reforms must be made in order to create a balance in the car market and that definitely entails putting an end to the “monopoly” in the car market.

“If the monopolies are broken and the market becomes competitive, the auto manufacturers will surely be forced, by raising the quality of their cars, to compete with others, and thereby the price will be determined by the market,” Shiva suggested.

Car prices increased by more than two times when the value of dollar jumped against national currency rial by about 300 percent as the West introduced banking and oil sanctions against Iran.

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