Economy, Auto

SAIPA, Changan to Expand Collaboration

SAIPA has been assembling Changan CS35 from imported CKDs for the past two years.SAIPA has been assembling Changan CS35 from imported CKDs for the past two years.

SAIPA and China’s Changan Automobile are set to increase collaboration.

Yang Liqiong, deputy director of Chongqing city’s Industrial Development Committee, which oversees the activities of Changan, met with SAIPA chief Mehdi Jamali over the weekend, SAIPA News reported.

During her visit to Tehran, Yang said, “The committee is set to facilitate talks between SAIPA and Changan over joint production in Iran.”

Referring to “successful collaboration” in the past between the two companies over the small SUV CS35, Yang said the Chinese side is willing to boost its presence in the country through a wider range of products.

The small crossover Changan CS35 has been imported as completely knocked down units and assembled in SAIPA’s factory in Kashan for the past two years. Reports say 5,300 units of the model were assembled during the first seven months of the current fiscal (started in March), indicating a 482% year-on-year increase.

In August, SAIPA in Kashan announced that 20% of parts of the small crossover are being produced by local companies; however, sources close to the company say the production rate of locally manufactured parts is so low that SAIPA relies largely on imports.

SAIPA unveiled the Chinese brand’s mini-car Benni in August. Informed sources say Benni is going to replace SAIPA’s low-quality Pride, which has been produced in the country for three decades.

Jamali underlined the importance of accelerating the negotiations with the Chinese. “Forging joint production deals with foreign carmakers is SAIPA’s main strategy for increasing diversity of its products and increasing market share.”

During the first seven months of the current fiscal, SAIPA produced/assembled 317,597 cars claiming a 41% share of the market. The company has reported a 22.6% year-on-year growth.

Jamali further said his company is also in talks with its other Chinese partner, Brilliance, to increase production. SAIPA assembles several Brilliance models, namely the H220, 230, 320 and 330.

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