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Renault Renault's Iran venture aims to double capacity, market share

(Reuters) -- Renault aims to double capacity and market share in Iran as the country's economy opens up.

The company is aiming for 20 percent of Iran's automotive market, up from 10 percent in 2012, said Peyman Kargar, vice president of Renault's Africa, Middle East and India region, and CEO of Renault Pars.

To reach the company's mid-term plan, capacity will need to be doubled, Kargar said, on the sidelines of a conference in London hosted by the Financial Times.

In 2015, Renault sold 51,500 vehicles in Iran, giving it a market share of 4.8 percent. It currently sells three models and will explore others with its two partners, Saipa and Iran Khodro, a spokeswoman said.

Iran's large but outdated car sector is one of the most attractive industries to foreign investors, who have flocked to Tehran since international sanctions were lifted in January following Iran's nuclear deal with world powers.

Renault halted business in Iran three years ago to comply with trade sanctions.

PSA/Peugeot-Citroen and its long-time Iranian partner Iran Khodro will invest 400 million euros($435 million) in the next five years upgrading their auto plant near Tehran to produce 100,000 vehicles a year starting in late 2017, with output eventually doubling. The two companies had an existing relationship that was suspended in 2012 due to sanctions.

PSA believes Iran's new-car market could recover to 1.6 million autos in two years and reach 2 million annually by 2022 after falling to below 1 million since 2012.

Date: 5/30/2016