Over Nuclear Pressure, Fiat Suspends Sales To Iran

By Blake Z. Rong | May 30, 2012
If you're in Iran and you want to buy a Cinquecento, you're out of luck. Fiat has joined Hyundai and Porsche in suspending sales to Iran, as well as "business activity related to products or components," according to a Fiat statement, "where the ultimate destination of such products is known to be Iran." "Fiat supports the international efforts for a diplomatic solution of the issues relating to the relations with Iran," Fiat's statement continues. The suspension comes after international pressure on Iran to suspend its nuclear program. Iran says its nuclear enrichment activities are for peaceful purposes, but that's not what many believe—and economic and diplomatic pressure are trying to convince Tehran to stop.
One of the charges comes from United Against Nuclear Iran, a non-profit organization that is dedicated to ending Iran's nuclear program by any means—including protesting major companies to prevent them from doing business with Iran. The organization began protesting Fiat's involvement in April 2011, and "we applaud Fiat's decision to end certain parts of its business in Iran," said Ambassador Mark D. Wallace, the man in charge of UANI. Fiat sold commercial vehicles and trucks to Iran, but it was "totally immaterial in a quantitative and qualitative sense--" in other news, Fiat executives won't be losing sleep over lost sales figures. The company had begun building the Siena, its aging compact for developing markets, in Iran back in 2008. Fiat maintains that all sales of vehicles in Iran, including its distributors, were conducted within UN, European Union and Italian regulations. The development extends to Iveco, Fiat's truck division, which sold passenger buses and trucks "that were used by the Iranian regime to transport ballistic missiles and stage gruesome public executions," said the UANI. And while the UANI may have praised Fiat for leaving Iran, it has already set its ire on BMW, Peugeot, Nissan, Mazda, and a laundry list of international carmakers that still do some sort of business in Iran. Sources: FiatUnited Against Nuclear Iran, Manufacturing Business Technology