EghtesadOnline: SAIPA is reportedly planning to replace its low-quality Pride with the Chinese mini-car Changan Benni.
The small hatchback, which is of a fairly good quality is considered as an appropriate descendent for the old Korean Pride.
However, due to the process of making a new car for the masses, industry experts say it is unlikely that the car will ever see the light of day in Iran.
Firstly, the Benni should cost less than 300 million rials ($7,900) and this would require significant localization in terms of parts, according to Financial Tribune.
Meanwhile, SAIPA sells the low-quality Pride for close to 220 million rials ($5,800).
Secondly, buyers have varied tastes for both hatchbacks and sedans, which Pride has met over the years. The Benni, however, is only available in hatchback format.
Third, the technology used by the local supply chain is outdated and lack of investment is the primary problem in joint ventures.
Changan’s Benni is developed jointly by Changan Auto and the Turin-based I.DE.A. Institute.
It was the first hatchback to bear the Changan logo, rolling off the production line of the Chinese state-owned company in September 2009, and hitting the international market in November of the same year.
The mini car employs a four-cylinder, 1.4-liter engine paired to either a 5-speed manual or semi-automatic transmission.
SAIPA currently produces two other models of Changan, namely the CS35 crossover and the Eado sedan.