French carmaker PSA to leave Iran over risk of US sanctions
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French automaker PSA said Monday that it would pull out of two joint ventures to sell its cars in Iran to avoid the risk of US sanctions after Washington withdrew from a key nuclear deal with Tehran.
PSA, Europe’s second-biggest carmaker, signed deals with two Iranian automakers, Iran Khodro and Saipa, in 2016 after sanctions were lifted following the landmark 2015 accord aimed at preventing Tehran from developing nuclear weapons.
It was among several companies which rushed into Iran, hoping to meet pent-up demand in a country that had been squeezed by sanctions for years.
Last year PSA sold nearly 445,000 vehicles in Iran, making the country one of its biggest markets outside France.
Although it has been absent from the US market since 1991, the company said in January that it was hoping to launch a car-sharing service in one or two American cities.
But PSA, which also owns the Opel and Vauxhall brands, also noted that Iran sales still make up less than one percent of its total sales, and so exiting the country would not alter its financial guidance.
“With the support of the French government, the Groupe PSA is engaging with the US authorities to consider a waiver,” it said.