Michelin considering Iranian tyre market

Michelin is considering the option of resuming exports of its car and truck tyres to Iran after international sanctions are lifted. According to a report in the Wall Street Journal dated 11 February, Michelin was amongst 100 French company executives that visited Tehran in early February to assess the business opportunities.

However US diplomats reportedly poured cold water on the delegation, warning that France risks and emphasising that sanctions relief is “limited, targeted and temporary”. Nevertheless Michelin’s Managing Chairman Jean-Dominique Senard told The Wall Street Journal (WSJ): “We are extremely respectful of the international embargo rules, but we need more visibility on what’s happening.”

According to the report, Iran was Michelin’s biggest market in the Middle East until international sanctions, which are related to the country’s nuclear programme, were imposed. Michelin’s Iranian exports were phased out in 2011, according to WSJ.

The news follows several reports predicting a strong recovery of the market as it releases pent up demand as an when sanctions are lifted. Michelin is the first company to publically state an interest in working in Iran.

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