Europe’s second largest automaker, PSA Peugeot Citroën, has posted the largest annual revenue loss in its history, partly caused by the West’s sanctions against Iran, Press TV reports.
Iran was the French car maker’s second-biggest market in 2011 in terms of trade volume.
In February 2012, PSA Peugeot Citroën stopped its trade with Iran after the enforcement of US-led financial sanctions against the Islamic Republic for its nuclear energy program.
The French car making group also halted its exports of vehicles to Iran, which accounted for around 13 percent of the firm’s global deliveries in 2011.
It cost the automaker the annual sale of half a million cars and an estimated 1.5 billion euros in revenue last year.
The news comes while the company’s downward spiral since 2012 has already led to France’s first major industrial closure in two decades and some 8,000 layoffs.
Autoworkers and union leaders are enraged at Peugeot’s decision that has driven thousands of workers and their families into joblessness and uncertainty for purely political reasons.
“The politicians, the United Nations, the European community…they are behind the American giant General Motors who made an alliance with Peugeot,” said Jean-Pierre Mercier, a union representative at Peugeot's factory.
“It was GM that forced Peugeot to stop selling cars to Iran. The first result was a loss in the sales of Peugeot. The second consequence was the French workers losing their jobs,” he added.
While President Francois Hollande’s administration has rejected the idea of nationalization, Peugeot will need a bailout of more than seven billion euros just to prop it up in the next three years.
Analysts say that Iran has had little difficulty in replacing Peugeot, as it ranks as the world’s 12th largest car producer and the largest automaker in the Muslim world.
Peugeot's decision and the consequent losses come while France's other major automaker Renault has announced it will expand cooperation with Iran, drawing criticism against Peugeot for following misguided policies to the ruin of the company and thousands of French families.