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EghtesadOnline: Iran Standards and Quality Inspection Company (ISQI) has released data on the quality of locally-made and assembled cars during the last month of the last fiscal (ended March 20).

According to the company during the month (Feb. 19 – March 20) 72,666 cars, buses and heavy duty vehicles were produced, Tasnim News Agency reported.

The vehicles are ranked from one to a maximum of five stars – no car has yet managed to get the five-star rating.

The cars are classified in five price ranges from the lowest costing under 250 million rials ($6,492) to the highest at above 1 billion rials ($25,968), according to Financial Tribune.

 Winners Club

From the 41 models which were inspected by ISQI, only four got four stars. Three models were able to keep their previous four-star ranking; the models were Renault’s Sandero produced by Pars Khodro, Mazda 3 of Bahman Motor and the IKCO-built Suzuki Grand Vitara.

Moreover, Kia’s locally assembled Cerato was able to add one more star and join the winners club with a four-star ranking.

Renault’s Sandero is the first car to be sold by the French firm as part of their plan to grow their market share after the international sanctions were lifted. The small hatchback has been a resounding hit regarding price and quality.

Mazda 3 (facelifted version) also climbed the ladder to attain four stars on the previous ranking in November when it got three in build quality.

Iran Khodro Company restarted production of the Suzuki Grand Vitara and the model grabbed a star to reach the top level of locally produced vehicles.   

The Kia Cerato is manufactured in Iran by SAIPA, the second-largest domestic carmaker.

 One-Star Losers

As with the previous chart, SAIPA and one of its subsidiaries Pars Khodro ranked poorly, albeit apart from the Sandero.

The new chart shows the models that have been produced for extended periods are still at the bottom-end of the quality list.

Especially two low-priced Pride models produced by SAIPA and Iran Khodro, namely Pride and Peugeot 405, were pushed into the limelight after the Iranian New Year since the two claimed the highest rate of driving accidents during the two-week holiday season.

Moreover, five SAIPA models priced under 250 million rials have a one-star ranking. However, given the tight budgets of most buyers in Iran, the low-priced models are still the best-selling cars.

 SAIPA Clashes With ISQI

In a recent report, the managing director of SAIPA slammed comments made by the ISQI chief, Nayereh Piroozbakht, about “outdated cars and the need to ban their production.” She was indirectly referring to SAIPA’s Pride which suffers from low quality and has never been able to rise above the  one and lonely star in ISQI ranking.

SAIPA boss Mahdi Jamali said in response, “Ms. Piroozbakht is overstepping her bounds…The ISQI is not in a position to say whether a car should be produced or not.”

He claimed that “there is ample demand for Pride. SAIPA will continue producing the model up until  there is demand.”

According to Jamali, the Pride had a 90% share in SAIPA’s production rate during the fiscal year 1389 (ended March 2011).

The company official admitted that the model’s production had decreased in recent years and through the last Iranian year (ended March 20) it dropped to 34% of total production.

Price Range Vehicle Manufacturer Star Rating
$28,571 and > New Mazda 3 Bahman Motor ★★★★☆
Grand Vitara Iran Khodro/ Suzuki ★★★★☆
$21,428 - $28,571 Kia Cerato SAIPA ★★★★☆
Tiggo 5 Chery ★★★☆☆
JAC S5 Kerman Motor ★★☆☆☆
$14,285 - $21,428 Ario SAIPA ★★☆☆☆
Changan CS35 SAIPA ★★★☆☆
Arizo 5 Chery ★★★☆☆
JAC J5 Kerman Motor ★★☆☆☆
Brilliance H330 Pars Khodro ★★★☆☆
Lifan X60 Kerman Motor ★☆☆☆☆
$7,143 - $14,285 Renault Sandero Pars Khodro ★★★★☆
Tondar 90 automatic Iran Khodro ★★★☆☆
Runna Iran Khodro ★★★☆☆
Peugeot 206 Iran Khodro ★★★☆☆
Dena Iran Khodro ★★☆☆☆
Peugeot 405 Khorasan Iran Khodro Khorasan ★☆☆☆☆
Samand Tabriz Iran Khodro Tabriz ★☆☆☆☆
Tiba 2 SAIPA ★☆☆☆☆
$7,143 and < SAIPA X131 SAIPA ★☆☆☆☆
SAIPA X132 SAIPA ★☆☆☆☆
Iran Auto Iran standard Iran auto market ISQI Iran auto industry