EghtesadOnline: After local media reported that the South Korean carmaker Hyundai has suspended its collaborations with its Iranian partner Kerman Motor, customers who have placed preorders for Hyundai cars assembled in Iran were bewildered. Kerman Motor has now introduced reimbursement packages.
Kerman Motor launched the presale of Hyundai Elantra earlier in January. The model was priced at 1.48 billion rials ($35,230) and customers were charged 700 million rials ($16,600). After the reported suspension of Kerman Motor-Hyundai collaborations, the Iranian firm has not been able to produce the Elantra. Therefore, customers have been provided with two options as compensation.
According to local news website Mokhbernews.ir, the first option is to get a refund with an interest rate of 18%. Through the presale scheme, the 18% interest rate was envisaged as an incentive to consumers investing in the vehicle’s production. Furthermore, Kerman Motor says in order to reward costumers’ understanding and cooperative attitude, the firm will offer an additional 5% interest rate on their down payments.
The second option is to get a different model, Hyundai Santa Fe imported by Kerman Motor, or the Chinese cars JAC S5 and S3 manufactured by the firm in Iran, according to Financial Tribune.
As the deadline for delivering Elantra units approaches, customers report having received text messages from Kerman Motor, asking them to go to representative offices for making due decisions about their orders, reported local automotive website Asbe Bokhar. Kerman Motor was to deliver the locally assembled presold units by late June.
It merits mention that as per a clause in Kerman Motor’s presale contracts, the firm is entitled to offer alternative packages when the need arises.
Despite the fact that Kerman Motor has gone to great lengths to win back the hearts of dissatisfied customers, the second package put forward might not look as appealing to costumers as it seems considering the price gap between the Elantra and the three substitute models.
Hyundai Elantra’s final price was set at 1.48 billion rials, while the alternatives namely Santa Fe, Jac S5, and S3 are sold for 3.57 billion rials ($85,000), 1.59 billion rials ($37,850), and 870 million rials ($20,710) respectively.
Following US President Donald Trump’s decision to pull the country out of the nuclear Iran deal and reimpose sanctions against Tehran, several foreign automakers have suspended their cooperation with Iranian firms, the most recent of which in the auto sector was the South Korean Hyundai.
Under a joint venture contract signed in March 2017, the South Korean firm is required to provide the Elantra auto parts so that they may be assembled in the southeastern province of Kerman. However, the South Korean firm seems unable or unwilling to uphold its end of the bargain.