New Chinese Cars for Domestic Market

Private and state-owned automakers are expected to introduce half a dozen new Chinese cars in the market in the coming months
Most of the new cars are to be introduced by Kerman Khodro and its subsidiaries.Most of the new cars are to be introduced by Kerman Khodro and its subsidiaries.

While French carmakers are still to deliver on their joint ventures with Iranian firms, seven new Chinese vehicles are due to arrive in the market before the end of the current fiscal next March 2018.

Sino-Iran partnerships have thrived due to the absence of western carmakers during the nuclear sanction years that ended last year. Now with the French again making a foray, the Chinese are working harder to protect their market share with new and, seemingly, inviting models.

Reports on local auto production indicate that several new Chinese cars from low budget sedans to mid-range crossovers will be on offer in the coming months, local automotive website Asbe Bokhar reported.

Joint ventures with the Chinese have a small share of the domestic market (10%), but over the years have registered significant growth with some reports claiming that the quality of Chinese cars, which most Iranians consider unacceptable, improving gradually.

 Kerman Khodro

Most new models will be sold by Kerman Khodro and its subsidiaries.

Karmania, a subsidiary of the company, which is the official representative of China’s BYD, has announced that it will start selling two new models Song and Tang in the coming months.

The Song is a small crossover that will reportedly cost 1.27 billion rials ($33,000). It has a 2 -liter, 203 hp engine matched with a six-speed automatic transmission.

Tang is a gasoline/electric hybrid car and claimed the title of the world’s top selling plug-in hybrid in 2016.

Unveiled in 2014, Tang follows the example of Volvo XC90 and is equipped with three engines, a 2-liter internal combustion gasoline engine which delivers 202 hp and two electric motors each churning out 150 hp. The three engines total output is said to be 498 hp.

Another subsidiary of Kerman Khodro, Rigan Khodro is to offer two new Chinese cars, Leopaard CS10 and Hawtai A25. Currently prototypes of the models are being tested.

After the tests, the two models are planned to be imported as complete knock-down units and will be assembled by Rigan Khodro.

Leopaard CS10 is a compact SUV unveiled by GAC Changfeng at the 2014 Beijing motor show. It is powered by a Mitsubishi turbocharged 2-liter engine, which is paired to an automatic gearbox and employs a layout of front-engine, real-time four-wheel drive.

Hawtai A25 is a small city crossover first displayed in 2014, coming with a 4-cylinder turbo, gasoline engine and equipped with a 4-speed automatic gearbox.

According to the deputy chief of Rigan Khodro, Shervin Parsian, the cars will be assembled in the southern Arg-e-Jadid Special Economic Zone near Bam in Kerman Province.

 Azim Khodro

Auto broker turned carmaker, Azim Khodro, is set to offer its first product Foton Sauvana (not to be confused with the Foton Savanna) in the upcoming months.

The SUV, which was unveiled by the company during the Mashhad Motor Show in August, was well received by would-be buyers.

It will be offered with a turbocharged 2-liter, 4-cylinder, 220 hp engine, coming along with a 6-speed automatic and manual transmission. The price is between 1.35 to 1.6 billion rials ($35,500 to $42,000) based on the options.

 Pars Khodro

A subsidiary of SAIPA, Pars Khodro is planning to deliver a new Chinese-derived Brilliance C3 SUV.

The car is part of the same family of Brilliance models produced by Pars Khodro, including H220, H230, H320, and H330.

The C3 is to be sold for 570 million rials ($14,800), according to company officials. It was seen at the Shanghai Auto Show in 2013 with a 1.5-liter engine with both manual and automatic transmissions.

 Iran Khodro

Iran Khodro, is also set to introduce the S30 initially produced by China’s  Dongfeng Motor Corporation.

IKCO first showcased the model painted in the yellow taxi color during the Tehran Auto Show in February.

However, it will have to compete with SAIPA’s locally produced Ario which already is used in the local taxi fleet. S30 will be priced at around 450 million rials ($11,600) falling in the same price range as Ario, which is sold for 470 million rials ($12,200).

The S30 originally released in 2009 in China has a 1.6-liter gasoline engine, with a range of automatic and manual transmissions.

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