Iran's car industry: low-quality cars, cheap Chinese parts (Expert)
Baku, Azerbaijan, Sep. 5
By Farhad Daneshvar – Trend:
Shortcomings in Iran’s auto parts industry have cast shadow over the industry ministry’s short-term plans to improve the nation's car making industry, which is suffering from poor quality.
According to the Iran Standard and Quality Inspection Company rankings about 54 percent of home-made cars failed to meet the required standards last year.
"When an official speaks about stopping the production of sub-standard cars in short-term, it means that he does not have enough information about the current situation of the domestic auto part makers and car manufacturers," Akbar Mirza-Hosseini, car industry expert and the Vice-chairman of the board of directors at Iran's Rakhsh Khodro Diesel Company, told Tend.
Akbar Mirza-Hosseini believes that numerous obstacles to the production of spare parts have caused Iranian manufactures to turn to China’s low-quality products.
"A large group of Iranian producers simply import Chinese auto parts, repackage and distribute them under Iranian brands," he said.
Saying that some Iranian car makers have established offices in China to directly import auto parts, he questioned the competency of the plan to stop manufacturing low-standard cars over the coming months.
Iranian automakers produced more than 1.332 million units of passenger cars and pickups over the last fiscal year out of which about 722, 554 units scored poorly by the country’s standard inspector.
Akbar Mirza-Hosseini further touched upon the nation’s purchasing power saying that most of Iranians currently cannot afford cars above $10,000.
"On the other hand, there is a small group of customers who can afford cars with prices above $10,000. About 65 percent of buyers in the Iranian market purchase cars with a value about $10,000. This is while the production costs in the country are quite high," he said.
The expert criticized Iranian car makers for failing to create a proper balance between cutting the expenses and protecting the quality due to managerial shortcomings, blaming the government for its interference in controlling car makers.
Speaking about foreign investment and cooperation with western car manufacturers, he said that this could leave a positive impact on the performance of the industry.
The expert believes that cooperation with westerners would help the Iranian manufactures to reform their management systems and improve the quality of their design and production process.
"However, any improvement in the industry would take place gradually and we should not expect the reforms to work miracles," he said.