See in Geneva, Buy in Iran

Auto and Tech Desk
Global auto firms descended on the city with some of the most exciting vehicles
VW Group, Korean and French, models are the main competitors vying for a bigger share in the saturated Iran auto market.
VW Group, Korean and French, models are the main competitors vying for a bigger share in the saturated Iran auto market.

The Geneva Motor Show got underway this week in the luxurious Swiss city where a not very expensive watch can cost you $40,000 and a car the price of your house elsewhere.

Nevertheless most global auto firms descended on the city  with some of the most exciting vehicles.

More than 100 new cars are on show for the first time this year—and it is easy to miss some of those wild and wacky designs with so many companies vying for the media’s attention.

When Financial Tribune reported in 2016 about this major auto event, we wrote that many cars could be coming to Iran; this year we can claim that some are already in the market; with many more to come in the next few months.

Here is the full list of vehicles either on their way to the saturated Iranian market or already on sale.

 VW Group

As Audi vehicles quietly re-enter the local market through a third party distributor, two vehicles on show at that firm’s stand could be heading Tehran. The Audi RS5 is a super-fast A5 variant, that packs 44bhp horsepower and can reach 0-100 kilometers an hour in less than four seconds.

Audi’s parent company VW is—in a very German manner—taking its own time to enter the Iranian market. It is reportedly coming in the initial form of imports and local assembly with its local partner Mammut Khodro.  

Moreover, VW’s other brands were on show at the Swiss expo with both SEAT and Skoda showing the very best.

The Martorell Spain-headquartered VW subsidiary SEAT, showcased their new Ibiza hatchback built on the same platform as the VW Polo. This car is believed to have already entered the Iranian market through the third-party company  Keyhan Motor Arian.

Interestingly, on March 7, the group’s CEO, Luca de Meo, told Reuters they are “researching the Iranian market” for full entry in the coming year.

SKODA, too expressed interest in bringing its models to the local market at some point soon. The company confirmed to Financial Tribune that Iran remains an interesting proposition for the VW Czechia-based subsidiary. Vehicles on show in Geneva included the updated Citigo mini-car as well as the Kodiaq crossover model which have been a hit in several European markets.

Volvo, which has been selling in Iran for the past couple of years also showed the second edition of its large XC90 SUV model. The 2018 version comes packed with all the latest safety and tech gadgets, and is also likely to appear in the local market in the next few months.

 Korea Models

From Korea, KIA Motors brought their latest small Picanto model available in Iran for a long time. Like many other vehicles of the same size, KIA attempts to up the offer of its little city car with all the latest gadgets.

Another Seoul firm, Ssangyong Motors that already sells some of the most popular imported cars in Iran, unveiled its latest SUV model called the XAVL (eXcrutiating ‘eXciting Authentic Vehicle Long SUV)—terrible acronym. The new family orientated SUV is said to take influence from the 1990s Korando model but given a new twist for 2017. For the size of the car, Iranians are likely to get the 1.5-turbocharged gasoline version, 1.6-liter diesel version is also available, but will not make it here.

 French Connection  

From the French, the DS7 Crossback made its debut first in Europe. It has been on show in Tehran for months at the company’s showroom.

Meanwhile, the soon-to-be-launched-in-Iran Peugeot 3008 was crowned ‘Car of the Year’ by a panel of 58 judges inspecting the newest world class automobiles in Geneva.

Alpine—Renault’s revived sports car brand to take on Audi and Porsche—is a strong contender to come to the Iranian market in late 2017 or early 2018. Since Renault announced its intention to re-enter the market in 2015, it has listed several vehicles it wishes to sell in Iran. The A110 sports car could be an ideal contender for the firm’s ultimate premium car assembled in Iran.

All said, the 2017 Iranian auto market looks a lot healthier than the previous year, but if you did not notice you probably will miss them.

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