VW joins convoy to Iran

VW is understood to be close to a deal to rejoin the Iranian automotive industry.

Iran’s ambassador to Berlin Ali Majedi said the company had been looking at the Iranian market for a year and, having studied the capabilities of two car makers, are now choosing which will be their partner.

Although Ali didn’t name the companies, it’s been reported that they could be Kerman Motor and Mammut Group.

VW did operate in Iran before sanctions were imposed, when it worked with Kerman Khodro in the production of the Gol compact. A return now appears imminent, possibly with its mass-market Skoda and Seat brands, according to Reuters.

‘Iran is a very interesting market with great opportunities,’ said VW brand research and development chief Heinz-Jakob Neusser.

The Iranian market could become quite congested fairly quickly, after years of isolation. VW would be the third major automaker to begin operations in the country after Mercedes-Benz and Daimler.

In January Mercedes-Benz said it had signed a letter of intent with Iran Khodro Diesel and Mammut Group to arrange a ‘comprehensive re-entry’ into the country, while Daimler is expected to back former engine joint venture Iranian Diesel Engine Manufacturing Co.