Economy, Auto

Five Star Ratings Out of Reach for Iranian Car Makers

Samand Soren scored one extra star in the latest quality ratings. Samand Soren scored one extra star in the latest quality ratings.

The quality report for the first month of the current fiscal year (March 21-April 20) has been released with no car reaching the fabled five-star quality rating by the Iran Standards and Quality Inspection Agency.

But some managed to get a 4-star rating including the locally produced Mazda3 sedan, Suzuki Grand Vitara, Kia Cerato and the Pars Khodro-produced Renault Sandero.

Mazda and Suzuki are priced in the above one-billion-rial ($26,600) range, while Renault’s Sandero comes at much lower cost of 500 million rials ($13,300).

The report is based on a study of 41,916 vehicles produced in the first month of the Iranian calendar year. Of the 41 vehicles inspected, 99% were cars and pickups. The remaining were heavy vehicles.

ISQI’s tests include build quality, parts quality including items like tire rubber quality, internal electrical tests, and emissions.

Meanwhile, several other local cars managed to get a three-star rating from ISQI including the Chery Tiggo5, Arrizo5, Pars Tondar L90 (third generation Renault Logan), Peugeot 206 and the 206 sedan model. These cars were priced in the 250 million to 500 million rials ($6,600 to $13,600) range according to the chart released by the agency.

Cars scoring a low two-star rating included Kerman Khodro’s JAC S5 SUV (750 million to 1 billion rials) or $20,000 to $26,600, JAC J5 Sedan, MaadIran 315, IKCO Dena, IKCO Samand Soren. The latter vehicle won one more star from its previous rating.  

Several vehicles were at the lowest end of the quality ladder with a lone star.  These included the vast majority of vehicles produced by IKCO and SAIPA groups, the two biggest local car producers who have long earned the ire of most car buyers and growing criticism from local media.

They are the IKCO-assembled Peugeot Pars (spin-off of Peugeot 405), Peugeot 405, Samand. SAIPA’s low scoring vehicles included the Tiba2 (hatchback), Tiba1 (sedan), X111, X131, X132 Pride variants. Pars Khodro’s SAIPA Pride X131 also scored a one-star rating. Meanwhile, local JV MaadIran 110s, also earned one star.

 Commercial Vehicles

In the light vehicle category, all pickups got one star, including the SAIPA 151 Pride pickup, Mazda Kara 2000 single and double cab pick-ups produced by Bahman Motor and the Zamyad Nissan pickup that has been around for a long time. The IKCO Peugeot 405-based Arisun pickup again scored one star.

Additionally, in the heavy vehicle category, two Volvo trucks assembled by SAIPA Diesel scored a 4-star rating for build quality. This is while the other three vehicles produced by IKCO Diesel, SAIPA Diesel and Bahman Diesel all scored one-star. Bahman has produced the ISUZU NPR75K for a while, and SAIPA’s Alvand is originally derived from a joint deal with the Chinese during the international sanctions.

The worst offender is IKCO Diesel’s ‘Mercedes Benz’ WH, which has been produced by the company since the late 1970s with the smallest of alterations.

Not included in the heavy vehicle quality checks were Mammut Group’s vehicles and other smaller companies, who assemble Chinese trucks.




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