Hectic Agenda for SAIPA

SAIPA is forging ties with Malaysia’s Proton and entering the Lebanese car market
Hectic Agenda for SAIPA
Hectic Agenda for SAIPA
Three new models of Proton will be marketed in Iran in the near future

Malaysia’s International Trade and Industry Minister Mustapa Mohamed met with SAIPA CEO Mehdi Jamali in Tehran on Monday.

The Malaysian minister said expansion of bilateral ties is the main goal of the visit and that SAIPA and Proton have been negotiating for some time, Persian Khodro reported.

Mohamed added that Proton has a long history in Iran and “Malaysia is looking forward to expand industrial and financial ties with the country in the post-sanctions era”.

“Three new models of Proton products are to be offered in Iran in the near future,” he added.

Recently, President Hassan Rouhani visited Malaysia and met with the country’s head of state, according to Mohamed, during which doubling trade between the two countries was declared as one of the main goals.

He noted that the upcoming deal between SAIPA and Proton can greatly contribute to this goal.

According to Mohamed, Iran has an annual demand for 1.2 million cars and Proton can have a share of this market.   

Jamali welcomed the minister’s remarks and said, “The groundwork laid by Proton in Iran during its previous presence in the country [with Zagros Khodro] is still intact and the company can build upon it through collaboration with SAIPA.”

“Collaboration between SAIPA and Proton will include imports and joint production. And SAIPA is aiming to sell some of its products through Proton’s sales network,” he said.

Zagros Khodro, which previously produced the Proton Gen-2 and Impian models before sanctions hit Iran in 2011, suffered from the general slowdown in automotive demand in recent years and was in debt when Proton left.

The company ultimately shuttered its operations during sanctions in 2012 with the majority stake of the company bought by car distributor Azim Khodro in June.

 Sales in Lebanon

During the last few months, SAIPA has endeavored to gain a firm foothold in the international auto market. Its international contracts oblige foreign companies to assist SAIPA in selling its products through their sales network in other countries.

SAIPA has established sales and after-sales services offices overseas, including Lebanon.

In order to consolidate its presence in Lebanon, the company participated in the International Beirut Auto and Parts Exhibition, which will be open to visitors till October 28.

The company is presenting its latest products at the fair, including Pride, the Brilliance series (H230, H330 and H320), Zamyad 242, Dongfeng’s Rich pickup trucks and Alvand trucks.

Earlier this year, SAIPA opened a sales and after-sales services center in the Mediterranean city of Byblos.


Industrial Development and Renovation Organization of Iran’s new deal with French carmaker Renault has irked SAIPA, which is partly owned by IDRO, as it is obliged to cede a subsidiary called BONRO, which SAIPA owns in Saveh near Tehran, to Renault.

SAIPA had offered another factory in Khomein to the Paris-based company called SAIPA Khomein.

Since the deal was signed between IDRO and Renault, many questions have been raised.

According to SAIPA’s officials, IDRO did not own the Saveh site and could not sell it.

Hamidreza Fouladgar, a member of Majlis Industries and Mining Commission, believes the deal falls in legally grey area.

“As a developmental company affiliated with the government, IDRO cannot directly attempt to sign contracts with foreign companies,” he said.

By totally ignoring IDRO’s announcements, SAIPA Khomein’s CEO Ayoub Paydar has jumped on the bandwagon created by the media and suggested that SAIPA Khomein’s production plant meets the standards of Renault and if the Ministry of Industries, Mining and Trade approves the idea, the Paris-based company can start production of new models at the plant.

According to an informed source, SAIPA was aiming to sell BONRO production plant to Chinese automaker Changan and had previously offered a 50% share in Pars Khodro (another subsidiary of the company) to Renault.

Since IDRO muddled up SAIPA’s plans, it seems that the company is making efforts for undertaking damage control.


Add new comment

Read our comment policy before posting your viewpoints