EghtesadOnline: The quality of several Iran-made budget vehicles, priced under 500 million rials ($11,900), has observed a slight improvement according to the results of a monthly audit released by Iran Standard and Quality Inspection Company.
Two versions of Pride, the cheapest car available in the Iranian market, have seen one-star improvements by the end of the month which ended on May 21 compared to the previous month.
The recent report shows signs of a focused effort on enhancing the quality of budget vehicles. Two Pride models, namely SAIPA 131 and SAIPA 132 have been upgraded from one-star quality on April 20 to two-stars (out of a total of five) in the span of merely one month.
ISQI is a private entity which conducts monthly quality and safety tests on behalf of the Ministry of Industries. Previous reports published by the firm indicated that many locally manufactured cars suffered from poor quality, barely earning one star in ISQI’s five-star ranking system, Financial Tribune reported.
However, the recent report is indicative of a general uptick in car quality over the years. Currently, only one Pride model, SAIPA 111, has scored a meager one-star ranking.
Out of the 38 models examined during the one-month period from April 21 to May 21, over 26% of vehicles have earned four-star rankings.
Among the quality vehicles are Renault’s Logan (locally better known as Tondar 90 or L90), Peugeot 207—a mishmash of the Peugeot 206 sedan released in 2006 and the 207i hatchback—and Renault Sandero, a popular hatchback.
There are 13 three-star vehicles available on the market, accounting for roughly one-thirds of the surveyed models.
The quality of JAC S5 offered by Kerman Motor has been enhanced by one star, now a three-star vehicle, compared to the April-May time span the year before.
While the locally designed sedan Dena had gained two stars in previous audits, its upgraded version Dena Plus has secured a three-star ranking.
Vehicles with two-star ratings also account for one-thirds of models tested by ISQI.
Pulling Off Upgrades
Many of the previously one-star quality vehicles have been upgraded to reach two stars. Among those are Iran Khodro’s Peugeot 405 produced in Khorasan, a model of Samand manufactured in Tabriz by IKCO, along with Tiba 2, a SAIPA-produced vehicle available on the market since 2008.
Moreover, the one-star Peugeot Pars (a locally modified version of Peugeot 405), previously produced in Mazandaran and Fars provinces, has now been replaced with a Kermanshah-based two-star Peugeot Pars.
The warnings from the Institute of Standards and Industrial Research of Iran to halt the production of Pride due to its low quality seems to have yielded results as out of the four Pride models produced, three have registered improvements in their making and secured two stars.
Two of the models have improved in quality within one month, namely the SAIPA 131 and the SAIPA 132.
Moreover, the Liffan X60 with automatic gearbox made by Kerman Motor has been assessed to be a two-star vehicle.
The report leaves only one vehicle, the SAIPA 111, at the bottom of the list with a one-star ranking.
It will be intriguing to see whether SAIPA can save the model from being labeled as the poorest model made in Iran in the coming months by applying upgrades and refinements.