>> When Iran struck the nuclear deal in exchange for more global trade, French car makers rushed to turn a weakness into an advantage. Lacking a significant presence in the US, Peugeot and Citroen maker PSA and Renault were free to enter Iran's relatively untapped market. Unrestricted by US sanctions, which are keeping their American and German competitors out.
Reuters senior correspondent Edward Taylor says, two years in, French companies are expanding their foothold.>> French car maker Peugeot has agreed to build the Peugeot 2008 locally. This could be quite a boon for them, because there's a 40% import tariff for cars at the moment. So most of the cars in Iran are quite old and too expensive and out of reach for the normal population.
So early movers may have a lucrative deal.>> With just days until Iran's election, President Hassan Rouhani is pushing the French investment to the forefront of his campaign, keen to validate his pursuit of attracting foreign money.>> Rouhani has used the idea of the expanding and opening up of the Iranian economy as a platform for reelection.
He agreed to abandon nuclear ambitions in exchange for allowing greater exports and imports.>> But affordability may prove to be a bump in that road. The Peugeot 2008 is expected to cost the equivalent of $24,000 US when it arrives in showrooms. That's more than three times the average household income in Iran.