Iran Quality Watchdog: Safety First for Car Buyers

ISQI conducted a survey on the sidelines of Tehran International Auto Show (Nov. 27 – Dec. 1) questioning 1,543 visitors about their automotive choices and concerns
Sport utility vehicles are the ride of choice.
Sport utility vehicles are the ride of choice.
German-made cars are the most popular with Iranians as 27% of those surveyed preferred such vehicles to those manufactured in other countries

Safety is top priority and the main concern of car buyers, a survey conducted by Iran Standard and Quality Inspection Company showed.

The survey was conducted on the sidelines of Tehran International Auto Show (Nov. 27 – Dec. 1) where 1,543 visitors were polled, ISQI reported on its website.

ISQI is a private company that conducts monthly auto quality and safety tests on behalf of the Ministry of Industries.

According to the survey, 33% named safety as their top concern when purchasing a new car, and 29% said for them horsepower and acceleration was the most important.

Barely 5% of those surveyed were concerned about fuel consumption. Iranian car buyers disregard for fuel consumption stems from the low price of gasoline (less than one-third of global average). Regular gasoline is sold at approximately 25 cents per liter.

>Country of Origin

Those visiting the annual car show were asked which country they believe produces the best cars in the world. German cars turned out to be the most popular and 27% said they prefer “made in Germany” cars to all others.

According to market observers, BMW and Mercedes Benz are two brands that Iranians hold in high regard.

Japanese automotive companies ranked second in the ISQI report with 20%. Toyota cars are sold in Iran through imports, and walking on the streets of Tehran one can see various models manufactured by the Japanese automotive giant. But their numbers are not too many because it is one of the expensive cars compared to both local models and some imported brands.

The French came after the Japanese with 19% of the people saying they are more inclined to buy a France-made or locally assembled French-derived car.

French automotive companies have a long history in the country and purchasing spare parts for their vehicles are relatively easy.

South Korean automakers are also present in Iran both through local assembly and imports. Brands like Kia, Hyundai, and SsangYong have a notable share of the imported vehicle's market.

Vehicles manufactured in the country were ranked fourth in the ISQI report with 14%.

Some 12% of the surveyed said that they preferred US-made cars; however, imports of American vehicles are banned in Iran.

According to the report, Chinese cars are the least popular with Iranians and only 6% of those surveyed preferred Chinese vehicles. More than half a dozen Chinese brands are sold in the local market.

Vehicles made in China or assembled in Iran by local companies are infamous for low quality and poor after-sales service. However Chinese cars are seen in increasing numbers in big urban areas largely due to their lower prices compared to their European, Japanese and South Korean competitors.

As is the case in most other markets, sport utility vehicles are Iranians’ ride of choice. The survey says 35% of people said if the price was right they would certainly buy a SUV.

According to the survey, crossovers ranked the second most popular vehicle with 28% closely followed by sedans at 25%.

Hatchbacks were the least popular at only 12%.


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