Street celebrations after the April 2015 nuclear deal. Picture hindustantimes.com
* Click on the title to see the Top 10 most produced cars, pickups, imports & brands *
Thanks to a partnership with CE Auto newsletter, we can now share with you exclusive detail on the Iranian new car market, as at crossroads now that economic sanctions that were handicapping the country are progressively being lifted. First let’s start by noting that the period covered in this report is the one closest to the calendar year 2015, which is not how the Persian calendar works. The Persian year 1394 started on 21 March 2015 and ended on 20 March 2016, so to get closest to calendar year 2015 figures we have to take into account the last 3 months of the Persian year 1393 and the first 9 months of the Persian year 1394 (the period studied is, in Persian terms, 10/1393 to 09/1394). Also, this update combines production figures for local manufacturers with exclusive import sales data obtained with Iranian customs.
The Iranian market is headed for years of growth after the lift of economic sanctions.
Overall, the Iranian new light vehicle market has gone back above the million annual units (1.024.708) with 962.737 locally produced units and 61.971 imports. Brand-wise, even though the company hasn’t launched any new models yet since it announced last August its intention to invest in full Iranian production of new models, Peugeot is once again the #1 brand in the country with 342.796 units, or one in three vehicles sold in Iran in 2015. This despite an ageing lineup composed of the 29 year-old Pars (#2) and 405 (#3) adding up to over 237.000 sales and the most popular design in the country for the 2nd consecutive year, and the 18-year old 206 ranking #4 overall with over 100.000 deliveries.
Saipa Pride in Tehran. Picture courtesy Blondinrikard Fröberg
Local manufacturer Saipa follows in 2nd place with 28.7% share, mainly thanks to the Pride Nasim and Saba, itself a rebadged 1986 Kia Pride sold in hatch and sedan variants. The more recent Tiba follows at a distance in 6th place while the 151, a Pride pickup sold a little more than 15.000 units last year. Iran Khodro, the second main Iranian carmaker, ranks third overall with just under 15% market share. The Samand sedan continues to be its best-seller with close to 85.000 units, a far cry above the Dena (#9) and Runna (#10). All Iran Khodro passenger cars are based on Peugeot platforms.
The JAC J5 is the most popular Chinese model in Iran at #8 overall.
Renault comes in 4th place with 4% share and 92% of its local sales come from a rebadged first generation Dacia Logan sold under the name Tondar 90. The next striking observation as far as local Iranian production is concerned is the fast gearing up of Chinese carmakers, all operating through local joint-ventures. JAC is the most prolific so far with 30.475 units in 2015, followed closely by Chery at 29.915, then Lifan (15.217), Brilliance (5.187), Great Wall (3.900), FAW (2.600), Dongfeng (2.000), Haima and Zotye (both under 200).
Zotye Z300 sporting a Saipa logo for the Iranian market.
The JAC J5 is the most popular Chinese model in Iran, ranking at an outstanding 8th place overall with 17.139 sales, had of the JAC S5 at #11 (13.316) and Chery MVM315 aka Fulwin at #12 (11.352). The Lifan X60 (8.660) and X50 (3.529) have also made their mark very fast in Iran, as for the Great Wall Voleex C30 (3.156 units produced in 2015) it has found a backup market now that its popularity is a thing of the past at home in China. The FAW Besturn B50, Brilliance H330 and H230, Haima S7 and Zotye Z300 are also produced locally as well as a 5-model Chery lineup to which was added the Tiggo 5 in October.
The Iran Khodro Arisun replaced the Bardo in Iran this year.
The local pickup market is a new addition on BSCB and a fascinating one at that. See the first report here. The Zamyad Z24, a 1970 Nissan Junior, continues to be produced in Iran and tops the production chart at 23.889 units, snapping the lead away from the now discontinued Iran Khodro Bardo (23.700) which was based on the 1967 Paykan. In May 2015, Iran Khodro launched its replacement the Arisun, itself based on the… 1987 Peugeot 405. After posting two months above 2.000 units (May and August), the Arisun has alarmingly fallen below 1.000 units during 3 of the last 4 months of the year, a far cry from the 9.324 units of Bardo spit out during its 2nd-last month… It wouldn’t be completely surprising if Iran Khodro decided to resume Bardo production in the coming months.
Over 40% of all vehicles imported into Iran are branded Hyundai.
Onto exclusive imports data, where Korean manufacturer Hyundai dominates head and shoulders with 41.4% share and 25.668 sales. In fact the Santa Fe, the best-selling import with 10.219 deliveries, sells more than any other imported brand. Toyota follows at 13% share ahead of Kia (11.9%), BMW (4.2%), Renault (4.2%) and Changan (4%). Among other Chinese, Geely places 7th, MG 8th, BAIC 10th, Brilliance 15th and Foton 16th.
The BMW X4 is the best-selling luxury vehicle in Iran in 2015.
Looking at imported models in detail, below the Santa Fe Hyundai also places the ix35, Elantra, i20 and Sonata in the Top 10 while Toyota has the Corolla and RAV4 and Kia the Sportage and Optima. The Changan CS35 cracks the Top 10 while BMW and Mercedes manage to sell over 1.000 of their X4 SUV and E-Class sedan respectively, the two leaders in the luxury segment.
Tehran street scene. Picture courtesy ninara
Previous post (imports): Iran 1st Half 2015: Exclusive imports data now available
Previous post (local): Iran July 2015: Full production figures now available
Previous post (strategy): STRATEGY: What future for new car sales in Iran?
Full Year 2015 Top 10 local cars, pickups, Top 10 imports and Top 10 local/foreign brands below.