Iran's President Hassan Rouhani checks a car during a ceremony marking the beginning of production of new Iran Khodro products, Dena+ and Peugeot 2008, in Tehran, Iran, May 2, 2017.
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French carmakers PSA and Renault are turning their U.S. absence into an Iranian advantage by piling into a resurgent market still off-limits to foreign rivals fearful of sanctions under Donald Trump's administration.PSA – the maker of Peugeots and Citroens – and Renault have pushed hard into Iran since its 2015 deal with world powers that saw international sanctions lifted in return for curbs on Tehran's nuclear activities. PSA has signed production deals worth 700 million euros ($768 million), while Renault has announced a new plant investment to increase its production capacity to 350,000 vehicles a year.PSA plans to add more Peugeot and Citroen models in coming months, while Renault has introduced its Sandero compact alongside the Tondar sedan.The U.S. pressure has not halted a steady recovery in car production in Iran, from 796,000 cars in 2013 to 1.23 million last year.The Peugeot 2008 is expected to be priced at around $24,000 when it arrives in showrooms – more than three times the average annual urban household income in Iran.
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