Auto production in sanctions-hit Iran nosedived by more than 42 percent in the past six months, Agence France Presse reported Thursday, October 11. Some 459,440 vehicles were produced from March 21 to September 20, according to industry ministry figures, while production stood at 792,286 in the same period in 2011. The drop accelerated in the month from August 21 to September 20, with the ministry recording a 66-percent fall compared with the same period last year. Iran built more than 1.5 million vehicles last year. The report did not provide any explanation for the drastic drop. However, the decline coincides with a strengthening of Western economic sanctions against Tehran, and the halting of parts deliveries by French manufacturer Peugeot because of the punitive measures.