Daimler AG is the parent company of Mercedes-Benz
"Daimler AG's Chief Executive Dieter Zetsche said Wednesday the German auto maker will divest its 30% stake in Iranian Diesel Engine Manufacturing as part of a wider review of its business relationships with the country. 'In view of the current political situation we have...extensively reassessed this business relationship,' Mr. Zetsche told shareholders at Daimler's annual general meeting." (The Wall Street Journal, "Daimler Downgrades Ties to Iran," 4/14/10)
"Daimler has maintained a partnership with Iran car maker Iran Khodro since the 1960s, according to a company spokesperson, and it owns a 30 percent stake in an engine manufacturer owned by Iran Khodro. The company still ships cars to Iran, but new German export laws prohibit the sale of large trucks, and the spokesperson said that the sales are a small portion of worldwide revenue. Daimler and its subsidiaries have won contracts to supply cars and trucks to the U.S. government." The company received $4.2 billion from the US government for their business investments in Iran during 2000-2009. Their activities in Iran are currently active. (The New York Times, "Profiting from Iran, and the US," 3/6/2010)
Germany's trade ties to Iran stretch back to the Middle Ages, and many of the companies currently there have been active in Iran for decades. Some 85 German companies have operations in Iran, from chemical maker BASF AG to Deutsche Lufthansa AG and Bayer AG, and others such as Linde AG and Mercedes-Benz parent Daimler AG are active there, according to the Hamburg-based German-Iranian Chamber of Commerce. More than 7,000 companies conduct business there through local representatives. Germany has become such a big trading partner for Iran because so many of its companies provide the machinery and engineering prowess Iran needs to improve its infrastructure.(The Wall Street Journal, "German Firms Feel Pressure Over Tehran Trade," 10/3/09)
Several renowned German companies are involved in major Iranian infrastructure projects, especially in the petrochemical sector, like Linde, BASF, Lurgi, Krupp, Siemens, ZF Friedrichshafen, Mercedes, Volkswagen and MAN. (Payvand News, Iranian exports to Germany rose 50% last year, 1/9/08)
Major Non-Oil Investments [In Iran]: Renault (France) and Mercedes (Germany)- automobile production in Karaj, Iran--valued at $370 million. (Congressional Research Service (CRS) Reports and Issue Briefs, Iran: U.S. concerns and policy responses, 12/1/07)
German companies such as Siemens, BASF, Mercedes, and Volkswagen maintain strong business ties with Iran. (The New York Sun, Attack on Iran Said To Be Imminent, 9/28/07)
In April 2010, Daimler AG cut much of its business with Iran following German Chancellor Angela Merkel's decision to support U.S. President Barack Obama to penalize Iran and boycott Tehran after a nuclear security summit, along with other German companies Siemens, Allianz, and Munich Re.
"According to Daimler AG CEO Dr. Dieter Zetsche, they will not be totally abandoning the country. The company will still honor existing contracts and provide support to their loyal Iranian customers. They will, however, cease to supply parts to the Middle East’s largest automaker, Iran Khodro, which manufactures local Mercedes-Benz E-Class models."
"Daimler AG also plans to liquidate a 30-percent share in an Iranian engine builder, as well as halt any and all exports of cars and trucks pass the Iranian border. Figuratively speaking, Iran contributed less than a thousandth of their $107.9 billion revenue in 2009" (BenzInsider.com, "Daimler AG Turned Off by Iran's Nuclear Policy," April 15, 2010)