EghtesadOnline: After a 24-hour hiatus, the Ministry of Industries, Mining and Trade resumed registering orders for foreign car imports.
On January 2 all car listings were removed from the ministry’s special website http://sabtaresh.tpo.ir/, but a new one was added less than 24 hours later. The list has been updated while a number of brands have been removed altogether, ISNA reported.
All auto importers inside the country, which are not working with the foreign-based parent companies, are now banned from importing vehicles. Some brands which have been banned include BMW, Honda, Audi and SEAT.
The current status of other companies like Mercedes-Benz were not mentioned in the list, according to Financial Tribune.
None of the local companies have commented on their next move following the ban, which experts and market observers insist was a long time coming.
Meanwhile, foreign brands which have been cleared for imports by the authorities include Toyota, Lexus, Renault and Mitsubishi. The complete list is mentioned in the chart.
Other smaller car importers have also been given the green light by the ministry, according to the official list.
PGO Automobile, an independent French luxury sports car producer is also entering the local market with local partner, Mehrviana Pars Aras.
In addition, Skoda Auto, the Czech-based VW subsidiary has been given a license. Their local retailer is IBG Motor. They will be importing two sedans, including the Superb and Octavia models.
The new import regulations are in line with the Rouhani administration’s renewed efforts in prioritizing car imports.
In December, the government sent a directive to the Ministry of Industries to the effect that import of cars by companies that do not have formal representation from the parent company or lack after-sales service centers will not be allowed.
The push for creating an official imported car market is a departure from previous practices. In the past, several car brands were sold by the same dealership, often with no warranty offered to buyers leaving the buyers of expensive foreign brands in limbo.