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EghtesadOnline: Iran Standards and Quality Inspection Company (ISQI) has published its latest report on the quality of locally-made and assembled cars during the third Iranian month (May 22-June 21), with many of the models scoring poorly.

According to the report by the inspection company, carmakers produced 89,246 vehicles during the  period that included 38 models.

With a slight change in the quality of one model made by a private firm, locally-produced cars continue to suffer from low quality with 39% of the evaluated vehicles receiving one-star out of five in the ISQI ranking system.

> Quality Cars

Kerman Motor, a privately company, is one of the few firms which showed a decent performance. Through a joint venture with South Korea’s Hyundai, it produces two small hatchbacks, Hyundai i10 and i20. Both models have been able to earn four-stars, according to Financial Tribune.

Priced at 700 million and 865 million rials ($18,600 and $23,000), Hyundai i10 and i20 are two of the so-called affordable cars in the saturated market.

The two Hyundai models’ main rival is Renault’s Sandero by Pars Khodro which comes in at nearly 200 million rials cheaper. The model — which also has four stars — comes with a price tag of 530 million rials ($14,000).  

In addition to these, the only other “affordable” quality car offered by local producers is Renault's Logan, dubbed as Tondar or L90 and made by Iran Khodro selling at 510 million rials ($13,600) and is the cheapest car which has been able to get four stars.

While the Logan is both cheaper and offers good value for money, it is not as aesthetic as its peers.

Three other models have been able to earn four-stars, namely the 2012-version Kia Cerato ( assembled by SAIPA), 'New' Mazda 3 (Bahman Motor) and Grand Vitara (IKCO); however all three are relatively more expensive. The prices for the models range from $26,000 to $39,000.

> Average Cars

From the 38 models evaluated by ISQI, 17 were able to secure two and three stars.

In this round of quality inspection, the ISQI reports its only change of cars with two or three stars with one of the products of Kerman Motor securing an extra star.

Produced jointly with Chinese carmaker JAC, the quality of JAC J5 has improved and it now has three stars.

Kerman Motor also produces JAC S5 sedan which has scored poorly and has two stars. The company also has a deal with another Chinese carmaker Lifan and produces the X60 SUV. That model hardly made one star.

> Champion of Low Quality

Iran’s “champion” of low quality cars, Pride — produced for almost a quarter century by SAIPA —has predictably earned one star, just like in the previous reports by ISQI.

The Pride has raised the ire of several official agencies for years with the hubristic SAIPA refusing to halt production of the unsafe model.

The Institute of Standards and Industrial Research of Iran (ISIRI) recently raised the bar on quality and safety standards that according to the CEO of SAIPA, the Pride will not be able to meet.

Calling the new standards “strict”, SAIPA boss Mahdi Jamali said, “Upgrading the Pride’s production platform in order to satisfy the new criteria is neither affordable nor feasible.”

However, in his customary defense of the model he said “Globally, no car can compete with the Pride price.”  The car goes for 210 million rials ($5,600).

However, a city car manufactured by Indian automaker Tata Motors called Nano is the cheapest car in the world with a price tag of $2,000.

Six out of eight cars produced by SAIPA suffer from low quality and have only scored one star in ISQI evaluation.

Iran Auto Iran standard Iran auto market ISQI Iran Affordable Cars Iran auto quality