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Newly Open Iran Not a Windfall for US Automakers

Daimler is first into the country with commercial vehicle deal.

by on Jan.18, 2016

The IKCO Samand is the first "national car" of Iran. At its height, the Iranian auto industry produced 1.6 million vehicles.

The lifting of sanctions against Iran over the weekend opened up a world of new economic possibilities, not just for Iranians, but also the businesses looking to expand into new markets, especially the automotive industry.

Daimler AG made the first move, announcing it signed letters of intent with local partners Iran Khodro Diesel and Mammut Group to arrange a “comprehensive re-entry” into the country where Daimler started doing business in the 1950s, starting with commercial trucks.

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“There is a huge demand for commercial vehicles in Iran,” said Daimler Trucks head Wolfgang Bernhard in a statement. “We plan to quickly resume our business activities in the market there.” (more…)

Germany Rejects GM Bid to Help Opel

Automaker will need find help elsewhere.

by on Nov.12, 2009

Taking her soccer ball and going home since German jobs won't be overly potected?

Taking her "soccer ball" and going home since German jobs won't be overly protected?

Still smarting over General Motors’ decision to call off the sale of its German-based Opel subsidiary, government officials, in Berlin, have told the U.S. maker they won’t come up with any aid to keep Opel operating.

The Germans are also expecting GM to pay back the balance of  a $2 billion bridge loan, provided earlier this year, to keep Opel from failing, government officials have confirmed.

The bad news was relayed to interim Opel CEO Nick Reilly, and GM’s international director, John Smith, during a meeting with German Economic Minister Rainer Bruederle.

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While General Motors CEO Fritz Henderson said, this week, during a visit to Germany, that the automaker will cover a “sizable” share of Opel’s restructuring – and had also noted, recently – that the subsidiary’s finances are improving – GM is still hoping to raise additional money from some of the other European governments who have a stake in Opel’s survival.