"As long as you follow the rules you are able to do a lot of business" - SIC board member Robert Sundqvist

"As long as you follow the rules you are able to do a lot of business" - SIC board member Robert Sundqvist

Improving Western relations with Tehran and a need to renew the country's ageing car parc present genuine automaker supplier opportunities says one Iran expert.

Negotiations are due to resume in Vienna this week between Iran and the so-called P5+1 group, the US, UK, France, Germany, Russia and China as well as the European Union (EU), with a view to settling the contentious dispute with Tehran concerning its nuclear programme.

Iran insists the research is for energy purposes, but some believe the country to be engaged in attempting to enrich uranium in order to develop nuclear weapons,

A recent thawing in relations between all sides has led to a dilution of punitive sanctions on the auto sector and the Scandinavian-Iranian Chamber of Commerce (SIC), estimates conditions are ripe for Nordic component producers to look again at opportunities.

The SIC says Tehran wants to move from a reliance on Chinese platforms as a way to assuage the effects of sanctions and Swedish manufacturers could enter that business space, potentially cooperating with domestic suppliers using joint ventures for components.

"If you look at the programme of models used today in Iran, the biggest is the Peugeot 405 and 206 is second," SIC board member, Robert Sundqvist, told just-auto on the sidelines of last week's Scandinavian automotive suppliers association (FKG) conference in Gothenburg.

"It means they have to revamp the whole programme of models in Iran. That means for OEMs, there is opportunity for CKDs. The Iranian Minister of Industry has bluntly told all producers, you are not allowed to base your new cars on Chinese platforms.

"Scandinavia and Sweden [have] one advantage and it is the level of trust and quality. We are working with Iranian car manufacturers and we know who is looking for a CKD licence. After two years you will have started CKD operations - it is ambitious but it will happen.

"It is just a question of whether it is Swedish or French companies doing it. Already today, we are working on improving trade between Iran and Sweden. As long as you follow the rules, you are today able to do a lot of business."

Lundquist's reference to France comes as the FKG's equivalent in Paris, FIEV, led a supplier delegation last last year to Tehran and to participate in the Iran Auto Industry International Conference featuring 170 attendees from 20 countries.

FKG is mulling a similar visit to Iran next year.