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EghtesadOnline: The Statistical Center of Iran (SCI) has released the latest figures on auto imports for the first ten months of the Iranian year (March 20, 2016-January 19).

It said the sector registered a 54% year-on-year increase during the period with 45,298 cars imported at a total cost of $1.16 billion (632 trillion rials). The SCI data was carried by the local automotive website Asre Khodro Tuesday. 

It said 24,901cars with an engine capacity of 1.5 liters to 2 liters were imported along with 20,397 sedans with engines from 2 liters to 2.5 liters.

The numbers are an indication of the growing interest in cars with smaller engine capacity and that the Rouhani administration's ban on engines larger than 2.5 liters is seemingly producing the desired results, according to Financial Tribune. 

Names of countries from which the vehicles were imported were not reported by the SCI. 

However, according to a previous report published in January on the auto import during the first nine months of the year  -  89% of the cars were imported from the UAE, China, South Korea, Germany, Turkey and Spain.

The Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration says imported vehicles have a 5% share of the ever-expanding domestic auto market.

Meanwhile on January 31, the head of Auto Importers Association, Meysam Rezai complained saying “The new regulations that Ministry of Industries is implementing is creating a monopoly in the imported cars market.”

The guild has filed complaints with the judiciary, he was quoted as saying.

The organization has been lobbying since the new rules came into effect to also allow small companies to import. However, this demand seems in direct contradiction with the government policy of allowing imports through the manufacturing companies and/or their official representatives to increase tax collection, improve after-sales services and develop customer relations. 

At the beginning of 2017, the ministry halted registering orders for foreign car imports for 24 hours. The following day new car listings were added on the ministry’s website

Brands that can be imported as of February through the official channels defined by the ministry include: BMW, Renault, DS Automobiles, Smart, Mercedes-Benz, Mitsubishi, PGO Automobiles, SAIC Motors, Peugeot, Porsche, Guangzhou Autos, Toyota, Ssangyong and Lotus.

Statistical Center of Iran Iran Auto Iran auto market Iran auto imports