EghtesadOnline: Iran’s quality watchdog has given five out of five stars for the first time to a sedan made by a leading domestic automaker Iran Khodro.
Iran Standards and Quality Inspection Company’s website has released its latest report on the quality of domestically-produced cars. The vehicles were surveyed during the Iranian month ending Jan. 19.
ISQI is a private enterprise working on contract with the Ministry of Industries, Mining and Trade.
The report classifies the cars in five price ranges, from the cheapest costing 870 million rials ($3,385) to the most expensive costing around 10 billion rials ($38,910). The company quotes the vehicles’ factory price, while the vehicles are sold in the open market at a much higher price.
The vehicles are then ranked from one, representing the lowest quality, to a maximum of five starts.
According to ISQI’s data, for the first time, IKCO’s automatic Dena Plus Turbo received five stars. The sedan is an upgraded version of Dena Plus, introduced by the company in 2014. It has a 1,645cc turbocharged, four-cylinder gasoline engine and Tronic gearbox. The model costs 3.7 billion rials ($14,396) and is classed in the third price group.
As per the new report, three IKCO cars, including manual Dena Plus Turbo, Dena Plus and Peugeot 207, gained four stars. All three models are in the third price group.
The launch of Dena was announced in April 2011. However, because of sanctions imposed on Iran Khodro and the pullout of its partner PSA Peugeot-Citroen in 2012, the project was mothballed due to lack of parts and finance.
The mass production of the sedan did not begin until 2013, when criticism of IKCO over delays in marketing the car mounted. The vehicle only arrived on Iranian streets in autumn 2014 in the low thousands. The company’s price for Dena is 1.4 billion rials ($5,447).
The Peugeot 207 model has almost the same exterior design as the popular Peugeot 206 with slight modifications. Offered with automatic and manual gearboxes, it is sold for 1.5 and 2 billion rials ($5,836 and $ 7,782).
As per the charts, most of the other car models won three stars. In the top price range (the most expensive), Cherry’s Tiggo 7, a Chinese SUV assembled by Modiran Khodro, tops the list. The model is sold at 9.9 billion rials ($38,521) by the company.
Kerman Motor’s assembled JAC S5 — a Chinese crossover — and its “little brother” JAC S3, along with Safe Khodro’s SWM G01 earned three stars in the second price range.
Iran Khodro’s Peugeot 206, Rana and Peugeot Pars — a facelift of Peugeot 405 with automatic gearbox — and Samand also hold three stars in the third price group.
All models produced by IKCO’s rival company, SAIPA, earned three stars in the quality assessment. The models include Quick, Tiba, Tiba 2 and Saina, all in the fourth price group.
Based on the ISQI data, Modiran Khodro’s MVM X33s earned a two-star ranking.
Unveiled in 2016 in Iran, MVM X33s is a local variant of China’s Chery Tiggo 3, placed in the second price class.
The model is equipped with Chamonix 7-speed CVT auto transmission.
Iran Khodro’s Peugeot 405, which is phased out of the production line, is newly omitted from the ranking list.
It suffered from several safety failures and never earned over two stars in the ISQI ranking.
The model is a large family car released by the French automaker Peugeot in July 1987, which continues to be manufactured under license outside France, as it was discontinued in Europe in 1997.
Iran Khodro started car production in the mid-1990s. The company also produced several models derived from the 405. Peugeot Pars, also known as Peugeot Persia, is a facelifted 405 version with a redesigned front end, including clear lamp lenses and a revamped rear.
Samand, which was designed to be “the national car” of Iran, is also based on the 405 platform.
Arisun is another IKCO model heavily based on the 405 model. It is a coupe utility car under production since 2015.
SAIPA’s small city car, Pride, which has been produced in Iran for decades, never earned more than one star in ISQI’s rankings.
The production of some versions of Pride was ceased in June 2020 because of its serious safety failures and quality issues and shortly after, it was excluded from the quality ranking list. The production of other versions is continuing, but the car remains distinguished by its ultra-low quality.
Pride was originally developed for Japanese and South Korean markets in the late 1980s. The car was widely sold in the United States as a Ford Festiva in the early 1990s. It entered the Iranian market in 1993 under license from Kia and has continued to be a cash cow for SAIPA.
Three years ago, the Institute of Standards and Industrial Research of Iran and Iran’s Automotive Policymaking Council set new automotive standards and gave a two-year ultimatum to automakers to comply.
The production of vehicles that cannot meet 83 automotive standards was expected to be halted by the end of 2018. SAIPA’s Pride topped the elimination list.
A recent study conducted on Iranian road accidents recorded over the past decade showed that the road killer was involved in one-third of the fatalities.
Road crashes claimed 206,049 lives in the 11 years ending March 2019, data from Iranian Legal Medicine Organization show.
Based on the research findings, up to 34% of the figure, constituting 70,056 victims died in a Pride car.
“Drivers’ adherence to traffic regulations is of the highest importance in terms of driving safety, but a vehicle’s quality also matters. Pride lacks the required standards of a regular passenger car and leads to an average of 3.8 deaths in each crash,” the National Traffic Police Chief General Kamal Hadianfar earlier told the media.