The 3rd Iran Automotive Industry International Conference was held on February 29 – March 1, 2016 at a time during which the industry and its key decision makers are looking to make a great leap forward, emphasizing once more on its strategic importance.
This conference substantially differed to previous ones, particularly in two aspects: It was held during a time when economic sanctions are being relieved and thus it might initiate many economic and business collaborations with key industry leaders and countries. The other big difference was in the form of a thoughtful political (even security) maneuver, which was aiming at showing the world how Iran is now open and safe for foreign investors. It is also important to note that the conference was held after the Iran 2016 parliament elections, which had a positive result for the currently ruling President Rouhani.
The two-day event hosted 363 Iranian and 137 foreign companies (from 23 countries), totaling to an impressive 2,000 registered visitors of the conference, its numerous technical workshops, and panels. Aside from prominent political figures, such as President Rouhani and the Minister of Industries, many well-known keynote speakers took part in the conference. Companies such as SAIPA, IKCO, PSA, Renault, Mercedes-Benz Trucks and Scania were represented by high ranked reps.
Key themes of the conference were globalization and the competitive landscape within the automotive industry of Iran. Numerous experts talked about their experiences from different aspects, such as manufacturing, supply chain, sales and after-sales activities. President Rouhani called for a boost in quality of cars manufactured in Iran, emphasizing that the manufacturers should satisfy their customer demands. Producing high-quality, cost-competitive and eco-friendly cars would guarantee the entrance of Iranian cars into the global market, the President added. Furthermore, he named the production and export of cars as one of the ways of cooperation between Iranian and foreign companies, and urged the officials in charge of Iran’s automotive industry to pay attention to this issue. President Rouhani concluded that he was optimistic about the future of the car industry, emphasizing that the industry should produce cars at a global scale.
It was particularly interesting for the ILIA team to meet the renown international management consulting firms which were present at the event with some of their senior partners. Management consultancy will play an integral role in shaping the future of key strategic Iranian industries, and international players are attempting to play an active role. According to our brief chat with a Roland Berger senior partner, foreign companies will require support from different aspects, starting from market research up to market entry strategies.
The ILIA team gratefully participated in this important conference and we see high potential for foreign investors in the field of automotive and part manufacturing of Iran. Aside from some improvement points in the way the conference was managed we had the feeling that it fulfilled its purpose.
Written by ILIA Corporation Consultants Amir Ebrahimzadeh and Saeid Babakhani