EghtesadOnline: After carmaker Iran Khodro jacked up prices twice over the past few weeks, its archrival SAIPA apparently did not waste precious time! The second biggest carmaker raised the price of three models from 24 to 80% over the weekend.
According to price lists published on saipacorp.com, the price tag for SAIPA 151, a small pickup has increased 23.5%, reaching 289 million rials ($2,750) from 234 million rials ($2,220).
SAIPA’s Pride — based on a Kia Motor hatchback from the 1980s — is the cheapest car made in Iran and comes in various versions. The best-selling is the small SAIPA 131 which is sold for 229 million rials ($2,180). The price of this automobile is also expected to increase in the coming days.
The Changan CS35, made by SAIPA in collaboration with the China’s Changan Automobile, is now dearer by 69.5% -- reaching 1.27 billion rials ($12,090) from 749 million rials ($7,130) in the recent past, according to Financial Tribune.
SAIPA has been producing the Suzuki Grand Vitara and Kia Cerato for several years. The factory price of Grand Vitara has jumped 56% to take ease in 2.51 billion rials ($23,900), from 1.61 billion ($15,330).
SAIPA offers Cerato with two engine capacities: 1.6-liter and 2-liter. The carmaker has imposed a price of 1.76 billion rials ($16,760) on the Cerato with the 1.6-liter engine and 1.96 billion rials ($18,660) for the bigger engine, respectively. The new prices indicate huge jumps amounting to 87.6% and 73% and very close to double of what was tagged a few months ago.
IKCO which has raised prices of several models in the past weeks, again over the weekend increased the price of another model. According to ikco.ir, the locally designed sedan Dena now costs 660 million rials ($6,280) – up 40.7%.
Last week IKCO published a price list for five models including the popular hatchback Peugeot 207i and a face-lifted version of Dena (Dena+), moving prices upwards by a hefty 50% for four models and reducing the price of one by 5%!
According to ikco.ir, the price of the hatchback Peugeot 207i with manual gearbox has jumped from 470 million rials ($4,600) to 700 million rials ($6,860).
The company has raised the price of Dena+ from 530 million rials ($5,200) to 760 million rials ($7,450).
It also increased prices of two Chinese models made in Iran by 50% and 41%. The Dongfeng H30 Cross is sold for 750 million rials ($7,350), up 50% from 500 million rials ($4,900). The price of Haima S5 has also increased 41%, from 980 million rials ($9,600) to 1.38 billion rials ($13,530).
The company cut the price of a face-lifted version of Peugeot 405 with automatic gearbox locally known as Peugeot Pars from 830 million rials ($8,140) to 790 million rials ($7,740).
This is while the price of the same car was raised from 540 million rials ($5,300) to 830 million rials ($8,140) last week -- a whopping 54%. Disregarding the company’s questionable advertisement tactics about “cutting prices”, simple arithmetic shows that the Peugeot Pars costs 46% higher compared to a few weeks ago.
Stance of MPs
Following the announcement of new prices, both carmakers have said customers who preordered vehicles and have already made down payments will be charged as per the new prices.
In response conservative lawmaker Nader Ghazipour said, “Carmakers are not meeting their obligations, and when delivering presold vehicles they charge more. In the Majlis Industries Commission we are of the opinion that carmakers must be obliged to deliver cars at prices they agreed to in the presale contracts.”
Another MP from Shiraz, Bahram Parsaei, said in a tweet: “With the false pretext of supporting domestic production, the auto industry pushed for a ban on car imports and the imposition of outrageous tariffs” on the automotive import sector as a whole.
The apparently vexed MP says, “They [the automakers] have an ironclad monopoly over the market. Devoid of other options, people are forced to buy the substandard vehicles made by local companies. Is this really support for domestic manufactures or taking a nation hostage and robbing them of their wealth!?”
Parsaei is not alone in condemning the upstart and inefficient automakers’ shenanigans. Many have openly and bluntly castigated the callous moves by IKCO and SAIPA on social media.
However, many caution that with the state’s obvious unending support for the lethargic carmakers there is no end in sight for the auto market plight.