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EghtesadOnline: In the face of Washington’s withdrawal from the historic nuclear deal with Tehran, Citroen’s CEO Linda Jackson says while waiting for the European Union to take a clear position on US sanctions and trade prospects, Citroen’s Iran strategy has not changed.

Speaking at a recent bash outside Paris, showcasing the C5 Aircross, Jackson pointed to the recent successful presale of Citroen’s C3 in Iran. Through a joint venture with Iranian carmaker SAIPA, French automotive giant Citroen presold 2,000 units of its small city hatchback C3 in its initial offering in the country on May 16.

Jackson told reporters that Citroen sold 2,000 C3 subcompacts in one hour on launch day in Iran, Reuters reported.

SAIPA and PSA Group’s Citroen brand signed a 50-50 joint venture in late 2016 under which the Paris-based carmaker has undertaken to invest more than €300 million ($352 million) in Iran during the next five years. In addition to C3, another model of Citroen, namely, C4 will also be produced in Iran, according to Financial Tribune.

During the Paris event, Jackson said the group’s policy on Iran has not changed in the wake of the US decision to exit the nuclear agreement and reimpose sanctions on Iran.

She said PSA remains “cautious” about the future of its Iran business, while waiting for the EU to adopt a unified approach to deal with the new US strategy on Iran.  

PSA was one of the first foreign companies to return to Iran after sanctions were eased under the deal in 2016. 

Citroen has a target of 1.6 million sales by 2020, based on expanding markets outside Europe, which it hopes will account for 45% of its sales by then, compared to the current 26%.

With over 1.5 million cars sold during the past Iranian fiscal, which ended in March, the country can help the French automotive company and its peers boost their foreign operations.

 Successful Presale

According to a company press release, over 44,000 car enthusiasts tried to register for C3’s Iran presales, while the company had only 2,000 units on offer. Apologizing for the inconvenience, the company says it will launch further sales in the near future.

In the SAIPA-Citroen presale of the model, the vehicle was offered through online sales website Iran e-Car, with buyers being charged 600 million rials ($14,285) as a down payment.

The C3 is a small hatchback produced in the central city of Kashan, which is equipped with a six-speed automatic gearbox and a 1.6-liter turbo four-cylinder engine with a 163hp output. It meets Euro 5 emission standards and was initially unveiled in 2002 in France. The latest version of the car, which was introduced in 2016, is sold in Iran.

 

Citroen Iran deal Iran nuclear deal Linda Jackson Citroen Iran