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Iranian car imports from UAE up by 150%

Staff writer |
Iranian car imports skyrocketed by 150 percent in the five months to August, as a loosening of trade sanctions ushered in a resurgence of car exports from the UAE.

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Nearly 44,000 cars were exported to Iran from February to August, compared with 17,000 the previous year, according to the Customs Administration in Tehran.

"There's been a big jump in imports because of temporary relief of sanctions, everybody has been trying to get into the market," said Pierluigi Bellini, an analyst who covers the car industry at the research firm IHS. "There's pent-up demand."

In the Al Aweer car market in Dubai, thousands of right-hand drive cars sit in a lot, waiting for export to Angola, Turkmenistan, and Iran.

"Ninety percent of the business here is for export markets. Business here depends on exports," said Taj Shaikh, a manager at Ideal Cars in Al Aweer. "Business here depends on exports."

The sentiment is echoed across the Al Aweer market, where a salesman at Western Auto said that exports to Iran were increasing dramatically.

"It's about 35 percent more than last year. The volumes are good," said Shameer Sameek, a salesman at Western Auto. "Iranian customers buy in volume, and are very particular on the specifications." They were typically wholesale dealers who sell cars in Iran at a markup of around 30 percent.


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