EghtesadOnline: Local vehicle manufacture SAIPA Diesel is in talks with the French Renault Trucks to introduce a new medium-duty truck in Iran.
SAIPA Diesel CEO Rasul Mohammad Sadeqi said, “Renault’s D-Wide model will be available to truckers in the coming months,” local automotive website Persian Khodro reported.
The model will be initially imported as completely built units and there are plans to later assemble the vehicle locally.
“In the next phases Renault trucks will be imported in the form of completely knocked down (CKDs) kits and assembled in the SAIPA production plants.”
According to Financial Tribune, the D-Wide comes with a capacious cabin. It incorporates automatic transmission and gives buyers the choice of two engines, the DTI5 and the DTI8 with a power output of 240 hp and 280 hp, respectively. Both engines meet Euro 6 emission standards.
The model is part of the French company’s D series, a range of medium-duty trucks designed in 2013 to replace Midlum series.
Renault Midlum trucks have a long history of presence in Iran and are popular with local trucking companies. The model used to be manufactured by SAIPA Diesel in collaboration with the French auto giant. However, the company halted production of the models six years ago after the international sanctions against Iran were tightened over the nuclear program dispute.
Sine 2016 Renault Trucks has been gradually expanding its footprint in Iran after years of dormancy. Last December an agreement was signed between Renault and an Iranian dealership for importing Renault T, C, and K series.
The T series entered the local market in July. It offers Euro 6, six-cylinder engines with 380, 430 and 460hp power output.
SAIPA Diesel also has a joint production deal with the Scandinavian company Volvo. Through the deal, SAIPA Diesel and Volvo will sell three new trucks in Iran’s market -- all three part of Volvo’s FM series. The presales of the models have been launched.
SAIPA has been producing Volvo trucks in recent years. But, production of the FM series was halted five years ago. With the international sanctions eased last year, Iranian auto companies and their affiliates are renewing ties with European firms.
Furthermore, SAIPA Diesel has joint production deals with China’s Dongfeng Motors and Foton producing several models in collaboration with the two companies.
The Chinese trucks are infamous for low quality. With SAIPA renewing ties with French and Swedish businesses, it is likely that Dongfeng and Foton trucks will lose their share in the market in the coming months.
It has been reported that over the years Chinese trucks have been offered on installment basis in Iran but had few buyers for two primary reasons: high lending rates that truckers cannot afford and the low quality of the heavy vehicles.