TEHRAN (Bloomberg) -- Daimler is exploring a partnership with Iran Khodro as it weighs a return to Iran's market for trucks, vans and buses, the Iranian automaker’s CEO Hashem Yeke Zare said.
Iran Khodro may sign a deal with the German maker of commercial vehicles and luxury cars as soon as three to four months from now, Yeke Zare said on the sidelines of a press conference in Tehran today.
Daimler may open an office in Iran within two to three months, the executive said. "Mercedes-Benz is an old partner for Iran Khodro, and it has announced to us its interest and readiness to work with us," Yeke Zare said. He declined to comment on the financial scope of any partnership with Mercedes parent Daimler.
Iran Khodro is also a local partner for French carmakers PSA/Peugeot-Citroen and Renault in Iran.
Daimler will heed any remaining sanctions and other export rules as it re-enters the Iran market after implementation of the nuclear deal, the company said today in an emailed statement.
Daimler is one of many European carmakers considering a return to Iran after the country agreed to curb its nuclear program in return for the lifting of international sanctions that have crippled its economy.
Automakers are lured by a market that could average 1.7 million vehicles in annual sales in the longer term, according to estimates from IHS Automotive.
Daimler declined to comment on specifics of any talks with Iran Khodro. Should German exports return to the pre-sanction levels of a decade ago, it could mean as much as an additional 4.5 billion euros ($4.9 billion) in revenue for the country's companies, Deutsche Bank analysts said in a July 16 report.