EghtesadOnline: Chinese carmaker Chery has begun production of its latest and most expensive SUV the Tiggo7 in Iran’s southern Arg-e-Jadid Special Economic Zone near Bam in Kerman Province.
Chery has steadily increased its reach in the Iranian market after it entered the country three years ago. The company has so far launched an SUV and a smaller sedan.
The first locally produced Tiggo7 is expected to be unveiled in the coming days, according to a report by Asbe Bokhar.
It is likely to take on other mid-size SUVs like the Hyundai Santa Fe and Kia Sportage – two South Korean brands are relatively popular in the Iranian market, Financial Tribune reported.
Pricey Compared with China
The SUV’s price is believed to be in the region of 1-1.3 billion rials ($26,500-$34,000), according to previous reports in the local media. In China the car comes in at 97,900 Yuan and ends at 153,900 for the fully loaded model ($14,600 - $23,070).
The Bam facility was created as part of a joint investment by the firm to import its production equipment as part of a wider Sino-Iran technology transfer deal.
Chery says it expects to produce 10,000 Tiggo7 units in the first year with the number likely to increase in following years.
A press officer at the company told the local car website, “This is a landmark not just for Chery but for the car industry in Iran.”
Tiggo7 slots just above the Tiggo5 in Chery’s lineup.
Surprisingly, the Tiggo7 comes with a smaller engine than its lesser-numbered sibling. The 7 model has a 1.5 liter turbo engine with 152 hp and 205Nm, while Tiggo5 has a larger 2.0 liter engine with less horsepower at 122 and 180Nm.
The manual version of the car is not likely to come to Iran, with the company saying it will install its CVT and DCT transmissions in its Iranian units.
In the international market the Tiggo7 is targeted at the young, while Tiggo5 aims for the more mature market which prefers larger engines over the turbo boost.
The Tiggo7 is the first Chery to be based on the company’s new T1X modular platform, which was developed with the assistance of Jaguar Land Rover, according to reports from China.
Bam Special Auto Production Zone
Bam’s Arg-e-Jadid Special Economic Zone, where the car is being built, was created following the catastrophic Bam earthquake in 2003 which destroyed much of the ancient city putting thousands of people out of work.
The SEZ was specifically created to host international automotive firms to help rebuild the area and provide jobs for many who remained after losing everything to the killer quake and wanting to start from scratch.
Arg SEZ offers incentives to automakers to persuade them to launch their facilities in the area.
An estimated 200 small, medium and large automotive and auto parts firms operate in the Arg-e-Jadid zone, including, Chery, Bam Khodro and Kerman Khodro to name a few.