Economy, Business And Markets

Saipa to Offer New Models

Saipa to Offer New Models
Saipa to Offer New Models

Iran’s second largest carmaker, Saipa, has said it would unveil 13 new products by March 2016, 70% of which will carry Saipa brand and will mainly be made of domestically manufactured auto parts, IRNA reported.

Saeid Madani, the company’s managing director, called such a variety as ‘unprecedented’ in the history of Iran’s auto industry. Madani added that 20% of the new products will be manufactured in cooperation with globally-renowned automakers such as Nissan, Renault, and Kia, emphasizing that 40% of parts for such cars will be produced by Iranian auto parts makers.

Madani said Saipa was performing tests on a few Chinese cars but stressed that Chinese automobiles do not have a large share in the company’s product portfolio.  

Back in March, Saipa and China’s Changan car manufacturing company agreed to produce two models of cars jointly. The two models will be produced in Saipa Kashan, a subsidiary of Saipa, which has the capacity to produce 180,000 cars per annum.

As of 2012, exports of Chinese automobiles were about 1 million vehicles per year and the number is rapidly increasing. Most sales were made to the emerging economies such as Algeria, Brazil, Chile, Egypt, Iraq, Iran, Russia, and Saudi Arabia.

Iran’s auto industry hopes to neutralize the negative impact of international sanctions with the help of Chinese companies, while experts say cooperation with Chinese carmakers is just a short-term solution and will not practical in the long run.

Iran and the P5+1 group (five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council plus Germany) reached an interim nuclear deal in November last year based on which international anti-Iran sanctions were eased or partly removed in exchange for Tehran to curtail parts of its nuclear energy program. Following the agreement, many European automakers rushed to take back their pre-sanctions status in the Iranian car market.

As such, the potential for improved foreign relations between Iran and the West over the short-to-medium term has generated considerable interest from carmakers, none more so than French brands Renault and Peugeot, which controlled around a third of the market’s output before they withdrew in early 2012 in line with western sanctions. Both carmakers remain keen to re-enter the market and have partnerships in place to do so. However, if a permanent nuclear deal is not reached by the November 24 deadline, some sanctions may still remain in place making it difficult for foreign carmakers to start or resume joint ventures with Iran.