Iran just became a bit less interesting for automotive enthusiasts with the announcement by Porsche that it will no longer do business there. The announcement was made Monday by United Against Nuclear Iran and New York Public Advocate Bill De Blasio.
"Consumers here have the power to force these companies out of Iran and tighten the screws on Tehran's regime," De Blasio said in the statement. "Our message is clear: you can do business with the Iranian regime or you can do business with the American consumer – but you can't do both."This follows news that Hyundai will also stop selling or servicing its cars in Iran. But despite the ongoing international embargo against Iran, car shoppers there still have plenty manufacturers from which to choose. Fiat, Isuzu, Kia, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Peugeot, Renault, Suzuki, Toyota and Volvo are all still selling and/or servicing their models there. Sadly, for Iranians, nothing on par with Porsche.
But then again, most Iranians aren't exactly flush with cash. A Bloomberg report from March says car sales in Iran were down 20 percent with prices up by about the same amount. For example, an imported Lexus RX350 sells for about $151,000 over there. Even in good times, that's a tough monthly payment for the average Iranian. In that same report, a Tehran car dealer said he hasn't replenished his stock of Porsche models for months because no one can afford them.
So either for political or economic reasons, we may soon see other carmakers pulling out of the Iranian car market. Check out the UANI press release below.
Porsche officials have confirmed that the company is no longer "engaged in any business or providing any goods or services in Iran," and "has no intention to conduct business in Iran in the near future."
In a Monday statement, UANI CEO, Ambassador Mark D. Wallace, said:
We applaud Porsche for ending its Iran business. We are satisfied with the pledges Porsche has made, and UANI will now list Porsche as being withdrawn from Iran. Porsche joins fellow automakers Hyundai and Karsan in having taken the responsible action of pulling out of Iran. Other automakers--including Fiat, Isuzu, Kia, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Peugeot, Renault, Suzuki, Toyota and Volvo--must now follow suit, and end all business with the brutal Iranian regime.
Said New York City Public Advocate Bill De Blasio:
That's two down, eleven to go. I applaud Porsche for making the right decision. Consumers here have the power to force these companies out of Iran and tighten the screws on Tehran's regime. Our message is clear: you can do business with the Iranian regime or you can do business with the American consumer--but you can't do both.
Last month, UANI and Iran180 joined Public Advocate de Blasio in announcing the launch of a new website, IranWatchList.com, and a corresponding consumer action campaign to pressure Porsche and 11 other automakers to end their business in Iran: Fiat, Isuzu, Kia, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Peugeot, Renault, Suzuki, Toyota and Volvo.
UANI also wrote to Porsche, and called on it to end its Iran business.
UANI has developed model legislation, the DRIVE Act, to force auto manufacturers to choose between American taxpayers and the regime. The DRIVE Act requires automakers to certify they are not engaged in any business in Iran, or engaged in the implementation of any agreement with Iranian entities in order to be eligible for U.S. government contracts or financial assistance.