Iran's Auto Banner Protest Shame Dealerships

Auto and Tech Desk
Carbuyers are striking back with their complaints in a public way
Several local cars are getting shamed in a mobile way.
Several local cars are getting shamed in a mobile way.
Be careful with this car the rear window falls out, and Iran Khodro will not respond!

First, it was Chinese cars that were being humiliated, but soon after a new trend spread to locally produced brands as well. The issue at hand? Car quality -- or lack thereof.

Since the introduction of low-cost Chinese vehicles in Iran over the past decade and their subsequent rise as the third largest brands produced/assembled in Iran, car owners have opted, albeit reluctantly, for such cars as some alternative to the local monopolies unwillingness and inability to get rid of the aging gas guzzlers.

But a trend, which started in smaller cities across Iran, where a frustrated owner protested  his faulty Geely and a dealership not wanting to fix the problem -- or hand back money -- has resulted into public shaming according to several images appearing on social media.

It is not just the Chinese brands getting the stick; the auto banner protests are spreading to the giant local manufacturers, like SAIPA and Iran Khodro both of which have one terribly outstanding feature: high price, low quality.

The five cars are from different producers, namely Iran Khodro Company, MVM, SAIPA, Pars Khodro and Geely, which does not produce the vehicles in Iran.

The banners on each car read:

Geely: “Buying Geely has been my biggest mistake .. Don’t make my mistake.”

Brilliance/Pars Khodro: “Don’t buy [this car] it does not have spare parts.”

SAIPA: “The gearbox makes growling noises barely after 3,000km, and SAIPA does not offer service.”

MVM: “The car they delivered had a crash, but they sold it to me as brand new.”

Iran Khodro “Be careful with this car, the rear window falls out and Iran Khodro will not respond.”

The issue is not about faulty cars alone, but also about how dealerships, many of which are not owned by the carmakers, respond to customers and their complaints.

In the past, after-sales service was not seen much as a priority for car dealers, and once you  purchased a car, you were left to their own devices, meaning even if there was an official warranty dealership would worm out of the problem.

But as the competition gets tough and people have more choices, customers expect responsibility from the carmakers/sellers and efficient after-sales service than what was previously offered.

And they are expressing their dissatisfaction in a very visual manner.

When Financial Tribune contacted some of the car companies above, they responded professionally unlike some of their representatives.

Firstly a producer of one international brand in Iran, who asked not to be named said, “We have high-quality control mechanisms for our cars, and if there is a fault [within the warranty period] then our dealerships must respond.”

Another local company representative added that she understands the concerns of buyers of their cars, and if there is a fault, the company will seek to rectify it within the warranty period.

However, that company representative admitted that they have had to cancel official dealership licenses to at least three representatives over the past year due to “unscrupulous activities.”

Part of the problem with poor after-sales services is down to the poor history of official dealerships in Iran as some avaricious unofficial firms offer themselves as representatives of big carmakers when they are not.

On December 13, the Ministry of Industries, Mine and Trade warned illegal auto companies again that they should stop their devious ways of making buyers pay for cars up front before they receive them.

The move is part of a wider action by the authorities to clamp down on dangerous procedures that have plagued the industry for years. It also intends to do away with independent car retailers who do not offer warranty and as the picture shows, treat customers with contempt.

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