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Iran First Half 2018: Production gears up 7.8% despite cloudy horizon

The Saipa Tiba/Saina is the most produced nameplate in Iran (Tiba pictured).

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Thanks to our partnership with CE Auto we can share with you exclusive detail on the Iranian new car market with updates on both local production and imports over the First Half of 2018. In fact, the period accounted for is the last three months of the Persian year 1396 and the first three of the Persian year 1397, roughly equivalent to the Western first semester. Despite a very clouded horizon with the prospect of international sanctions meaning a lot of carmakers are already in the process of withdrawing from the Iranian market, local production is actually up over the period at +7.8% to 750.962 units. Even more surprising, this is in fact an acceleration over the +7% of Q1 2018, with April production up  17.9% to 79.590, May production up a smashing 40.3% to 144.630 but June production down 20.9% to 105.218. All-in-all, Q2 2018 Iranian production is up 8.5% to 329.438 units. An estimated 95% to 98% of the local production is sold in Iran, meaning the production rankings give a very close picture of what the best-sellers in the country are. On the other hand, imports tumble down 59.2% to just 19.496.

Launched 31 years ago in 1987, the Peugeot 405 is still in production in Iran.

Atop the locally-produced brands ranking, Saipa cements its newfound leadership thanks to production volumes up 13% to just under 230.000 units and 30.6% share vs. 29.1% over the same period a year ago, now sporting a 15.000-strong advantage over #2 Peugeot (+0.2%) which sees its share thaw from 30.8% to 28.7%. Iran Khodro (+6%) roughly follows the market resulting in a stable share at 10.7% but Renault (-7%) drops from 9.9% to 8.5%. Chery (+6%) remains the ost popular Chinese carmaker producing locally in Iran, accounting for 4.6% of the H1 2018 total production of the country.  Brilliance (+58%), Dongfeng (+13%), JAC (-42%), Haima (+147%), Changan (+76%) and FAW (+347%) also manage to insert themselves inside the Top 15. All-in-all, a total of 19 Chinese brands are produced in Iran out of 30 active brands, Chinese manufacturers accounting for 15.5% of the Iranian light vehicle production so far this year vs. 14.4% over H1 2017 thanks to a production volume soaring 15.7% year-on-year to 116.458. The latest newcomers in the local aisle are Huanghai and Coupa (Zotye).

The Brilliance H330 remains the most produced Chinese vehicle in Iran.

Over in the locally produced models ranking, the Saipa Tiba/Saina remains in the lead thanks to production surging 68% year-on-year to over 110.000 units, eclipsing the Saipa Pride (a 1986 Kia Pride) by over 3.000 units. The Peugeot 206 (-0.1%), 405 (-6%), Pars (-1%), Iran Khodro Samand (-12%) and Renault Tondar 90 aka Dacia Logan I (-11%) follow, replicating the Q1 2018 order. The Iran Khodro Dena (+83%) and Brilliance H330 (+84%) post the largest gains in the Top 10 whereas the Renault Sandero (-4%) skids down. Just outside the Top 10, the Haima S7 (+147%), Chery Tiggo 3X (+138%), Kia Cerato (+35%) and Dongfeng Aeolus S30 (+21%) all vastly outperform the market. The Changan CS35, Brilliance H230, JAC S3 and Chery Fulwin 2 make it 9 Chinese nameplates in the Top 20, the Peugeot 2008 is down one spot on Q1 to #22 and the Hyundai Accent is up 4 to #23. The Zamyad Z24 (+7%) remains the #1 pickup above the Bahman Cara (+60%), Saipa 151 (-30%) and Iran Khodro Arisun (-22%) while the Renault Tondar pickup (+97%) rounds out the Top 5.

The Zotye T600 Coupe is now assembled in Iran under the name Coupa T210.

As far as imports are concerned, in a very challenging context Hyundai keeps the brands lead with almost 5.200 sales, distancing Toyota up three spots on Q1 to #2, Renault down one to #3, Kia up two to #4 and Volkswagen down one to #5. Nissan (#7), Ssangyong (#8) and BMW (#9) also gain ground vs. Q1 whereas Chinese MG is down three spots but remains indie the Top 10. Model-wise, once again it’s the Hyundai Santa Fe that gets the favours of Iranian customers with just under 3.500 sales, and 2.000 more than any other imported nameplate in the country. The Renault Talisman remains in 2nd place even though zero units were imported over Q2, the Kia Cerato snaps the third step of the podium (+20) ahead of the Nissan Juke (+3), VW Passat (-2) and Hyundai Sonata (+5). The Toyota Hilux, Ssangyong Tivoli and VW Tiguan also manage a spot inside the 10 most imported nameplates in Iran over H1 2018.

Previous post: Iran Q1 2018: Production up 7%, imports down 51%, uncertain future

Previous year: Iran Full Year 2017: Peugeot #1, Saipa Pride threatened by Tina/Saiba

One year ago (1): Iran imports July 2017: Toyota C-HR breaks into Top 10

One year ago (2): Iran July 2017: Exclusive production figures available

Full H1 2018 Top 15 local brands, Top 10 cars, pickups, imported brands and models below.

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