The Saipa Pride is the best-selling vehicle in Iran for the first time.
It’s another fantastic 37.4% year for Iranian new car sales in 2003 top 715.079 units which is the 9th consecutive all-time record year. In the brands ranking, we witness a equalising of the main three local manufacturers with Iran Khodro (+25%) at 32.3% share, Saipa (+52%) at 29.1% and Peugeot (+73.2%) at 28.4%. These now represent a whopping 90% of the entire Iranian market vs. 84% in 2002. If this is Iran Khodro’s lowest share since we started tracking Iran in 1993, sanctioning seven consecutive years of decline since the high of 66.2% in 1996, both Saipa and Peugeot reach new record shares this year. Below Zamyad, the brand under which the Nissan 24 Pickup is now sold, Renault (+62.1%) returns into the Top 5 thanks to record volumes by the Sepand aka P.K., a Frankenstein car made using the body of a first generation Renault 5 and the platform of a Kia Pride.
The Renault Sepand (or PK) reaches a record 20.214 sales in 2003.
Massive event in the 2003 models ranking: for the first time since its launch in 1967, the Iran Khodro Paykan (+0.2%) is not the Iranian best-seller despite edging up to a new volume record. The Saipa Pride (+52.5%) finally takes over to become the most popular vehicle in Iran for the first time with over 200.000 units sold in 2003 alone exactly ten years after starting local production. The Saipa Pride is simply a rebadged version of the 1986 Kia Pride produced in Iran with 97% local content, that started being sold here in 1993. Below, the Peugeot 405 (+62.6%) and 206 (+62.3%) both improve share while the Iran Khodro Samand (+189%) breaks into the Top 5. It’s fair to say the Samand is (logically) responsible for the demise of the Paykan, but Paykan+Samand sales remain below the Pride.
Full Year 2003 Top 15 All-brands and Top 30 All-models vs. Full Year 2002 figures below.