Hyundai Motor Company

KRX: 005380
South Korea

[email protected]

On February 16, 2021, Iowa Public Employees' Retirement System removed Hyundai Motor from its Iran Prohibited Companies List. 


Hyundai Motor is listed on the 4Q 2020 Minnesota State Board of Investment List of Unauthorized (Scrutinized) Iran Companies.


On May 15, 2020, the IPERS identified Hyundai Motor on its Iran Prohibited Companies List.


As of December 2020, Rhode Island continues to list Hyundai Motor as an Iran scrutinized company for active involvement of at least $50 million in Iran's energy sector. The company sells its vehicles in Iran through Tehran-based Kerman Motors, Assan Motor, and Soroush Diesel Mabna. (Company website, 12/2019). The company's minority-owned subsidiary Hyundai Wia lists Control Afzar Tabriz Co Ltd as its sales and service agent in Iran. (Company website, 12/2019)


On January 20, 2020, Minnesota SBI listed Hyundai Motor as a scrutinized investment. The managers are explicitly instructed to refrain from purchasing securities on this list. 


In 2018 and 2019 Hyundai Motor was listed on the Texas Comptroller List of Companies Engaging in Scrutinized Business Operations in Iran.  


"South Korea’s Hyundai resumed cooperation with Iran after the ratification of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) or Tehran’s nuclear deal with world powers, to manufacture its I10, I20, and Accent models in 2017.

However, after U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to leave JCPOA, Hyundai also prepared itself to end cooperation with the Iranian company Kerman Khodro in the Special Economic Zone, Arg-i Jadid." (Radio Farda, 6/13/2018).


In 2018 the U.S. state of Iowa listed Hyundai Motor on its Iran prohibited companies list rendering Hyundai Motor ineligible for investment and/or state contracting.


South Korea's Hyundai Motor Group is looking for a stronger presence in Iran's auto market through better services and improving relations with car buyers, says the chief executive of Kerman Motor Company. "Following Kerman Motor's success in assembling and distribution of Hyundai i10 and i20 and last year's deal to assemble the Accent model, the Korean carmaker is eager to have a bigger footprint in Iran's market," Saman Firouzi said, according to Kerman Motor's website. In March he had said that his firm would launch the Hyundai Accent production line in September." (May 2017)


"South Korea's Hyundai Motors, Middle East and Africa office director, Mike Song, signed a production agreement with Iran's Kerman Motors to start production of the Elantra model in the local firm's Kerman production facility, in the south of the country. The deal signed in Kerman on March 13 by representatives of both firms. Saman Firouzi, chief executive of Kerman Motor, said that his firm will also launch Hyundai Accent production line in September 2017. "Our target is to employ 10,000 people by 2019," he added. The company previously agreed with Hyundai at the end of 2016 to begin production of the Hyundai i10 and i20 hatchback models which are likely to go on sale following the Iranian New Year." (Financial Tribune, "Hyundai, Kerman Motor Sign Deal to Produce Elantra in Iran," 3/13/2017).


Before the implementation of the JCPOA, Hyundai had sold around 20,000 auto part units to Iranian cars annually. (Korea Herald, “Hyundai Motor to resume export of auto parts to Iran in April,” 3/15/2016).


"Iran totally imported 51,967 cars in the first half of the current Iranian calendar year (March 21 - September 22). Hyundai with 24,991 cars was the main exporter of cars to Iran in the mentioned period..." (Trend, "Korea’s Hyundai gains lion share of Iran’s car imports market," 11/16/14)


"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.

The Iran Khodro Diesel Co. (IKDC), a manufacturer of commercial vehicles (trucks, buses, minibuses, vans), produces the Hyundai Mighty (Light Truck) and Hyundai Chorus (Minibus).

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
57.64% owned

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.