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"According to the report, 17 car brands have been permitted to be imported in the current year. The cars include Hyundai (2 models), ABT, Alfa Romeo (2 models), MG, SsangYong, Toyota, Renault (6 models), and Kia (2 models). Previously, 25 car brands were included in the list, such as South Korean brands (Kia and Hyundai), Chinese brands (SAIC motors), Italian brands (Fiat, Alpha Romeo), Japanese brands (Honda, Mitsubishi), German brands (ABT), and Swedish brands (Volvo)." (AzerNews, "Iran bans imports of renowned car brands," 5/27/2013)
"The report said that aside from Nissan and Peugeot, such car brands as Chinese Lifan, Mazda, Suzuki, and Hyundai are still being manufactured in Iran." (Trend, "Five reasons why Iran's car manufacturing suffers blow after blow," 11/27/2012)
Hyundai Motor and several of its subsidiaries and affiliates have reported business dealings with Iran, including:
- Hyundai Rotem: 57.64% owned – sale of rail cars
- Hyundai HYSCO: 26.1% owned, primary shareholder; 13.9% owned by Kia Motors, second largest shareholder – sales of steel pipes
- Hyundai Mobis: 16.88% owned by primary shareholder Kia Motors – equipment for auto manufacturing
Hyundai Motor's business in Iran can be broken down into exports, manufacture, and orders:
Hyundai sells passenger cars through Assan Motors, its exclusive distributor in Iran since 1992. Assan trumpets its “tremendous growth” in recent years. The Hyundai Iran website also features dozens of Iranian dealerships that sell Hyundai vehicles.
Business Monitor’s “Iran Autos Report Q4 2010” (September 2010) reports as of February 2010, Hyundai Motors was only one of six carmakers that have secured license to import cars into Iran. In August 2010, Hyundai reportedly ceased vehicle exports to Iran.
In July 2011, the Korean daily JoongAng reported that due to pressure from United Against Nuclear Iran, Hyundai had ceased its exports to Iran for two months in early 2011 but quickly reversed course: "In February, Hyundai Motor and Kia Motors - both affiliates of Hyundai Motor Group - stopped shipping automobiles to Iran after the companies came under pressure from United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI), an American lobby group, for not complying with U.S. sanctions. In April, they reversed track, saying it 'wasn’t right' that they continue to withhold their products from Iranians. It was the first time that the Korean company decided to stop exports due to political pressure from a third party or country."
In 2004, the first Iranian-made Hyundai vehicles were produced with local partner Kerman Motor Company. The Hyundai Verna model was initially set at 20,000-30,000 units per annum (upa) with plans to be increased to 100,000 upa. (World Markets Analysis, “First Iranian-Made Hyundai Models Rolled Out in Kerman,” 9/9/04)
The “CKD [Complete Knock Down] assembly facility” with Rayen Vehicle Manufacturing Company (RVMCO) in Tehran manufactures the Hyundai Accent and Elantra. CKD refers to a kit (e.g. engine, transmission, battery, etc.) used by foreign affiliates to assemble manufactured goods.
In July 2009, it was reported the auto-manufacturing companies Kerman Khodro and Rain Khodrosazan would introduce Hyundai’s smallest car, the i10. Rain Khodrosazan reportedly also manufactures the Hyundai Avante, Verna and Sonata.
August 2010: Reports indicated that Hyundai Motors and Kia Motors had shipped a total of 17,000 vehicles to Iran during the first half of the year before suspending their exports.
September 2006: Reuters reported that Hyundai Motor won a $227 million order to supply vehicles to Iranian government agencies and taxi operators. The models supply included sedans and SUVs. In 2007, it was expected Hyundai would also be rewarded another 8,500-unit order.
Hyundai Rotem in Iran
Hyundai Rotem is a Korean manufacturer of rolling stock, defense products and plant equipment.
- 2004: Hyundai Rotem won a contract to deliver 150 DMUs (diesel multiple units/railcars) to the Islamic Republic of Iran Railways. The deliveries were scheduled for between 2007-2009.
- 2004: In consortium with the Marebuni Corporation, Hyundai Roten won a 110 million euro for 120 Diesel Multiple Unit (DMU) cars from Irankhodro Rail Industries Company (IRICO). The delivery was scheduled the beginning of 2007 through to 2008. (Rotem Website)
- Iran is listed as one of their “Global Markets” for “Railway Systems.”
U.S. Government Business
Hyundai Motors received over $14.7 million in U.S. government contracts this past decade.