The Saipa Shahin could finally be headed toward mass production in the coming months.
Iranian production data is now released by Iran Khodro, Saipa, Pars Khodro and Zamyad which represent between 90 and 95% of the national production as most Chinese carmakers have left the country after the strengthening of international sanctions in 2018-2019. Imports have also slowed down to just a trickle. The sanctions have actually benefited local manufacturers and freed up production capacity that was otherwise taken by foreign carmakers. As a result, the Iranian new car market has spectacularly bounced back since the start of 2020, with production up 25.2% year-on-year to 270.145 at the end of April for the selection of manufacturers that still publish data. The coronavirus crisis did have an impact on Iranian production as April volume is actually down -24.5% year-on-year to just 26.825 units.
The Saipa Pride remains the most popular vehicle in Iran.
Brand-wise, Saipa (+27.8%) outpaces its home market but is now truly feeling the heat from Peugeot (+52%) lurking just 31 units below, with both brands producing just over 107.000 units over the period. Iran Khodro (+51.7%) and Zamyad (+63.2%) also post fantastic year-on-year gains, both more than doubling the market growth rate. In contrast Renault (-71.2%) is fast disappearing from the Iranian scene, as are Chinese fares Changan (-90.9%), Dongfeng (-90%) and Brilliance. In fact, Haima (+20.9%) is the only Chinese brand to continue progressing, at complete odds with its desperate situation at home in China. As a whole Chinese brands are down -66.6% to just 1.6% share of the Iranian production vs 6% a year ago. As for Kia, Citroen and Suzuki, their production has stopped in Iran.
The Saipa Quick is up to #6 in April and #9 YTD.
Over in the models ranking, the Saipa Pride (+24.9%) is expected to sail away from the 2018 leader the Saipa Tiba/Saina (+15.2%) with the Peugeot 206, 405 and Pars in tow. The Iran Khodro Samand and Dena follow like in 2019, but we have a newcomer in the Top 10: the Saipa Quick which is a Saina hatchback that launched in September 2019. The Iran Khodro Runna (+163.6%) finally takes off and is propelled from the tail-end of the Top 20 directly to #10. The Haima S7 (+20.9%) is up 4 spots on FY2019 to #11 while the Iran Khodro Arisun pickup (-4.5%) limits its year-on-year drop to lurch up 8 ranks on its FY2019 ranking to #14.
The Peugeot 206 is #1 in Iran in April.
The April ranking is very different, with the Peugeot 206 #1 above the Saipa Tiba/Saina, Saipa Pride, Peugeot 405, Pars and the Saipa Quick up to #6 ahead of the Iran Khodro Samand and Dena. The steeper production drop by the main Saipa sedans (Pride, Tiba, Saina) could be due to the transitioning of production facilities towards the new Saipa Shahin (previously known as Roham and unveiled in 2018), even though Iran is notoriously slow to ramp up new models. Local website Asbe Bokhar said on May 5 that production has been moved from testing facilities to Saipa Tiba’s production line in Tehran in a possible sign the company is preparing for mass production of the vehicle. 15 units were reportedly planned for May before a ramping up of production in following weeks, just as the cars was spotted testing on motorways outside Tehran. Saipa aims at 12.000 units of the Shahin in the first year, with a view to 100.000 units by 2022.
Full January-April 2020 Top 12 brands and Top 25 models below.
Full January, February, March and April Top 20 models below.