Economy, Auto

No Cherry-Picking, All Low-Quality Cars Have to Go

The ombudsman says if vehicles fail to comply with the local automotive standards by 2019, their production permits will not be renewed.The ombudsman says if vehicles fail to comply with the local automotive standards by 2019, their production permits will not be renewed.

Head of Iran National Standards Organization has reiterated that “Production lines of all low-quality cars will be halted by 2019.”

Speaking at a ceremony held on the occasion of World Standard Day on Oct. 17 in Tehran, Nayereh Pirouzbakht said, “Local media has singled out two models namely SAIPA’s Pride and Iran Khodro’s Peugeot 405 as the low-quality cars the production of which should end. However, there will be no cherry-picking; all low-quality cars have got to go” in less than two years.

According to a government mandate, local automakers must acquire production permits for each model from the National Standards Organization. Pirouzbakht says if a vehicle fails to meet the INSO benchmarks by the set date its production permits will be revoked.

Most cars produced by the two main semi-state-owned companies (Iran Khodro and SAIPA) have engines that are no more in use in countries with stringent  environmental rules. They are notorious for high emissions, poor mileage and flaunting safety rules, especially the low-priced sedans.

In the past couple of years, aiming to counter air pollution, the government has announced new and tougher rules to improve the quality of domestic cars and remove the high emission vehicles from the streets. However, it has almost always visibly failed to implement the rules leading to repeated complaints and protestations by the people, environment activists, economic experts, and NGOs.

Furthermore, while government officials have often called on the two companies to respect the minimum environmental standards and curb production of low-quality vehicles, IKCO and SAIPA have refused to comply.

For instance, according to sales and production report released by the Security and Exchange Organization of Iran the low-quality Pride dominated SAIPA’s logbook during the first six months of the current fiscal which started in March.

During the six months ending in September, SAIPA produced 112,660 Prides and sold 114,423 generating 19.9 trillion rials ($505 million) or 42% of SAIPA’s total income during the half year.

Most observers and environmentalists are perplexed at the production polices of the local carmakers and their disturbing attitude towards repeated government calls to fall in line when it comes to upholding the rule of law.

Likewise, the governments’ inability or unwillingness to use the full force of the law against the unyielding auto companies for so many years is also open to question in the saturated domestic car market.


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