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Iran Full Year 2018/1397: Saipa Tiba/Saina takes the lead in market hit down 21.2% by returning sanctions

The Saipa Tiba manages to take the lead of the Iranian market in 2018…

Consult over 50 years of Iran Historical Data here.

This post has now been updated with imports data

Thanks to our partnership with  we can share with you today exclusive production figures for Iran over the Full Year 2018. This period roughly corresponds to the last Quarter of the Persian Year 1396 and the first three Quarters of 1397. An estimated 95% to 98% of the local production doesn’t leave the country as it is sold here in Iran, meaning the production rankings give a very close picture of what the best-sellers in the country are. It’s a schizophrenic year for Iranian production: if H1 figures were holding very strong at +7.8%, the return of international sanctions triggered by the Trump administration has meant H2 figures crumbled down 46.7% at 422.600 vs. 793.100. As a result, the annual production figure is down a ghastly 21.2% to 1.173.562. Logically, Iranian carmakers are less affected than foreign ones and this means we have a big change atop the brands ranking: Saipa (-17.1%) overtakes Peugeot (-24.8%) to snap the lead at 353.000 units vs. 336.000. Keep in mind Peugeots are produced under license by Iran Khodro and therefore won’t see their figures halt despite the sanctions. The Iran Khodro brand (-23.6%) remains in third place, widening the gap with Renault (-48.6%) at #4.

…but not without the help of the Saina.

Chery (-23.2%) is once again the most prolific Chinese carmaker in Iran at #5 overall, but Brilliance (+11.9%) is catching up at #6. The rest of the Top 10 all lose less ground than the market with JAC (-12.6%), Kia (-15.9%), Dongfeng (-17%) and Zamyad (-18.9%) all containing their losses. With the swift progressions of MG (up 66-fold), FAW (+188.1%), Geely (+108.5%), Haima (+57.4%) and ZX Auto (+19.1%) and the arrivals of Haval (#21), Zotye (#23), BAIC (#27) and Huanghai (#28), there are now a whopping 19 Chinese carmakers producing locally in Iranian, accounting for a very impressive 17.2% of the country’s light vehicle production vs. 14.2% in 2017.

The Peugeot 206 is the third most produced nameplate in Iran in 2018.

The models ranking also sees a momentous change: the Saipa Tiba/Saina edges up 3.1% to almost 169.000 units, it’s enough to gain two spots on 2017 and topple the ailing Saipa Pride (-30.1%) which is in fact a 1984 Kia Pride. Note Saipa combines Tiba and Saina sales which are quite different vehicles, and no split is available. Peugeot holds all remaining positions in the Top 5 with the 206 (-19.7%), 405 (-36.1%) and Pars (-25.4%). Below, the Iran Khodro Samand (-38.3%) and Renault Tondar 90 (-53.3%) aka first generation Dacia Logan both lose more ground than the market but hold onto their ranking, just as the Iran Khodro Dena (+25.7%) advances to #8 and the Brilliance H300 (+60%) breaks into the Top 10 at #9, knocking down the Dongfeng Aeolus S30 (-12.3%) to become the most popular Chinese fare in Iran.

The Saipa Roham has entered production in October.

The Chery Tiggo 3X (+0.8%), Haima S7 (+57.4%), JAC S5 (-42.2$), Chery Tiggo 5 (-11.3%), and JAC S3 follow. finally, with local production kick starting in October, we may have the future best-seller in Iran in the new Saipa Roham, for now #51. Over in the pickup aisle, the Zamyad Z24 (-19.1%) easily holds onto the top spot while the Bahman Cara (-0.3%) overtakes the Saipa 151 (-44.8%) for 2nd place just as the Iran Khodro Arisun (-10.1%), a Peugeot 405 pickup, confirms it’s just dead in the water.

The Hyundai Santa Fe is by far the best-selling import in Iran again.

With the return of sanctions, imports have slowed down to just a trickle, down a devastating -66.6% year-on-year to 26.824 units, including just 1.313 over the 4th Quarter, imploding down 89.5%. Hyundai (-59.4%) becomes the most popular imported brand in 2018, distancing Toyota (-46.8%) and Kia (-66.6%) while last year’s leader Renault (-85.8%) falls to #4. Volkswagen (#5) made an aborted entrance in the market, which it has left since while Chinese MG (+214.1%) breaks into the Top 10. Model-wise, the Hyundai Santa Fe (-29.7%) remains the best-selling import in Iran, and by far: it sells almost 3 times as much as the #2, newcomer VW Passat while the Renault Talisman (-56.3%) climbs 3 spots on 2017 to #3. The Nissan Juke (-52.3%) and Kia Cerato (-11.8%) round up the Top 5, the Toyota Prius (-51.9%) and Hilux (+223.1%) break into the Top 10 and the VW Tiguan lands directly at #10.

Previous post: Iran Q3 2018: Saipa Pride #1, Chinese hold 21% of market down 36%, imports down 70%

Previous year: Iran 2017/1396: Peugeot #1, Saipa Pride threatened by Tiba/Saina, Chinese brands hold 15% of local production

Two years ago: Iran 2016/1395: Saipa Pride & Peugeot 405 lead, Brilliance H330 in Top 10

Full Year 2018 Top 30 brands, Top 50 passenger cars, Top 10 pickups, Top 10 imported brands and Top 10 imported models vs. Full Year 2017 figures below.

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