By Shahrzad Pourriahi, Crain News Service
LONDON (July 22, 2015) — A nuclear agreement between Iran and the West has been welcomed by some industry leaders and could be good news for the tire industry in the Persian Gulf state.
The deal, recently struck in Vienna between an Iranian negotiating team and a team of diplomats from the U.S., England, France, Russia, China and Germany, is aimed at preventing the Islamic republic from building a nuclear weapon in return for the lifting of sanctions that have isolated the country and hurt its economy.
The removal of sanctions could lead to a rapid revival for the country's oil and gas industry as well as within its once-booming automotive sector.
According to Hooman Tootoonchi, Iranian tire industry expert and head of research and development at the country's Pars Tire Co., Iran's tire sector is set for accelerated growth over the next 10 years, given the combination of cheap and readily available oil and a growing population hungry for mobility.
“Our country's need for tires is currently 330,000 tons (a year), of which 230,000 tons are supplied by internal companies and 100,000 tons supplied through imports,” according to Mr. Tootoonchi.
It is predicted that Iran's demand for tires will reach 800,000 tons in 2025, noted Mr. Tootoonchi, adding that demand will require new investments in this industry.
He estimated that by 2025, there will be a ratio of 300 cars to 1,000 persons, meaning that car production will have to reach 1,650,000 units per year.