EghtesadOnline: Iran Standards and Quality Inspection Company has released a report on the quality of domestically-produced cars surveyed during the Iranian month ending May 21.
The quality watchdog is a private enterprise that works on contract with the Ministry of Industries, Mining and Trade, and publishes the ranking on its website.
The report classifies the cars in five price ranges, from the cheapest costing 870 million rials ($3,522) to the most expensive costing 10 billion rials ($40,485).
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 stars.
According to the ISQI ranking, the domestically-made cars have recorded a slight improvement in recent rounds.
Quick, a small city car made by SAIPA, has kept its four out of five stars in the ranking. Introduced in 2016, the sedan is equipped with a 1.5-liter, 87-hp engine and a five-speed continuously variable transmission (CVT). The model costing 1.4 billion rials ($5,660) is classed in the fourth price group.
The round of quality inspections in the month ending Jan. 20 had awarded five stars to the automatic Dena Plus Turbo made by the leading domestic automaker Iran Khodro (IKCO). The model has retained the status.
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 3.9 billion rials ($15,790) and is classed in the third price group.
As per the new report, besides SAIPA’s Quick, four IKCO cars, namely the manual Dena Plus Turbo, Dena Plus, Peugeot 207 and Haima S7, gained four stars and belong to the third price group.
The launch of Dena was announced in April 2011. However, because of sanctions imposed on Iran Khodro and the withdrawal 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 delivery mounted. The vehicle only arrived on Iranian streets in autumn 2014 in the low thousands. The company’s price for Dena is 1.7 billion rials ($6,882).
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 1.7 and 2 billion rials ($6,880 and $8,000).
The production of Haima S7 began in 2015 with 40% of the Chinese SUV’s parts manufactured locally.
The S7 is available with both manual and automatic transmission options and has a 2-liter engine.
As per the charts, most of the car models garnered 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 ($40,000) 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 facelifted version 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 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 seven-speed CVT auto transmission.
Iran Khodro’s Peugeot 405, which is phased out of the production line, was recently omitted from the ranking list.
It suffered from several safety failures and never earned more than two stars in the ISQI ranking.
The model is a large family car produced by the French automaker Peugeot in July 1987, which continues to be manufactured under license outside France, as its production 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. Soon, 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.
Up to 34% of the figure, constituting 70,056 victims, have died in a Pride car.
National Traffic Police Chief General Kamal Hadianfar earlier said 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 an average of 3.8 deaths have been reported in each crash involving that car,” he said.