The 2019 first quarter sales of the French automaker Peugeot Citroen declined 15.7 percent to 884,000 vehicles, mainly due to U.S. sanctions which have stopped sales to Iran.
According to an official statement released by the Groupe-PSA, the main corporation, two-thirds of the decline was due to lack of exports to Iran. In the first quarter of 2018, Peugeot Citroen sold 108 units to Iran. The vehicles were sold in kits and partner companies in Iran assembled the cars.
In 2017, before the U.S. decision to pull out of the nuclear agreement with Iran and reimpose economic sanctions, the company sold 444,000 units to Iran.
The company also lost sales in Turkey and China. The fall of the Turkish Lira contributed to the decline in sales. But the overall revenues declined only 1.8 percent, due to higher prices it charged.
Iran heavily relied on French automakers to supply its domestic market, which suffers from lack of options. Importing manufactured new cars into Iran by is a bureaucratically and financially difficult task, although affluent buyers drive the most expensive sports cars.
In March Iran’s Deputy Minister of Industry announced that Renault, another French automaker, will return to Iran after lengthy negotiations and a new “mechanism” ostensibly in circumvention of U.S. sanctions. However, Iranian officials sometimes make claims with no real follow-up.