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EghtesadOnline: Following a dressing down from the Persian Academy of Language and Literature over SAIPA’s new hatchback model named ‘Quick,’ the firm has so far failed to respond to the controversy, according to several local news agencies.

On March 11, the influential Persian language institute, that has a mandate to protect the Persian language from foreign language encroachments and also oversee naming procedures of products by local companies, said SAIPA scored a home-goal by calling the new small car Quick as it had zero context in the local language.

In a letter to Culture Minister Reza Salehi Amiri, the academy’s head, Ghulam Ali Hadad Adel, said the name of the new  car “contradicts the law on using Persian names” and urged the auto company to find a new name in line with the declared policy of upholding and promoting Farsi, YJC reported.

Recalling similar cases in the past, Hadad Adel said other automakers that had decided on foreign names for their vehicles ultimately adopted Farsi alternatives, Financial Tribune reported.

“We ask that a Farsi name be chosen for the car, lest this become a precedent,” he said in the letter.

The academy is “ready to help” find an alternative for Quick, he added.

Naming of the new domestic car, based on the regular SAIPA Tiba hatchback chassis, is a first vehicle since the 1979 Islamic Revolution to carry a non-Iranian  word.

Interestingly, several Internet users came on SAIPA’s side, saying that the name does have a context in the local language, as there is a region in Hormozgan Province with the Latin spelling ‘Koeek’. For all that matters, SAIPA’s naming of the car has little to do with that spelling or place.

In the wider context of protecting and promoting Persian language and culture, SAIPA’s marketing department move may seem odd, but the company also wants to sell the vehicle in foreign markets.

The naming, outside Iran, could in fact work with outsiders who in their native language will understand the naming procedure in a better context as English words are more usable abroad.

The estimated 400-million-rial vehicle is also likely to score well with exporters and dealerships abroad as it gives the company its first instance of naming internationalization, something the government  supports to help prop-up the struggling auto industry as it attempts to meet its quota of 30% exports.

Meanwhile, Iran Khodro, SAIPA’s biggest local competitor continues to name their vehicles with local names. The latest vehicle it developed fully by this company is Dena -- a girl’s name, which is the first case in which a girl’s name was used for a car.

However, other local vehicle assemblers like Maad Iran Vehicle Manufacturing (MVM), have also had to change the names of the cars for the local market. However, they have not caught the close attention of the Persian language academy in the same way local car makers have.

One car this company produces, which uses the same name as the version it sells in China, is the Arrizo 5. Arrizo does not have a meaning in Persian. The two rule system that seems to be developing seems odd as any car developed for the local market should have a local definition as per the academy’s  naming regulations.

 Renault Example

Renault, which signed a joint venture with the  Industrial Development & Renovation Organization of Iran (IDRO), and intends to produce several new models also looks likely to avoid the wrath of the language institute as many of its future cars and those already sold do not use local naming procedures.

The only exception to this unwritten covenant is the Tondar (Thunder) L90. This car, which has done well in Iran, was originally called Dacia Logan in its native Romania.

Saipa Iran Auto Iran auto market Iran auto industry SAIPA Quick