China’s BYD S6 to ply Iran roads

Financial Tribune – Offered by Karmania — a local car company and the official representative of China’s BYD — sport utility vehicle S6 will hit Iran roads in June.

Initially, the presold units of the model were to be delivered in October. According to local automotive website Asbe Bokhar, the first units of S6 will be delivered in the coming weeks.

Chinese carmakers currently have a meager share of the Iranian market, which is likely to shrink further in the upcoming years.

During the years of US-imposed sanctions — using the absence of French and Korean automotive industries in Iran — Chinese automakers flocked to Iran and claimed a share of the local market. However, the low quality of the Chinese cars and insufficient subpar after sales services — offered by some of their local partners — stymied Chinese firms’ efforts.

With sanctions lifted Iran’s old automotive partners have been signing deals and renewing old industrial ties. So far Chinese cars have been able to cling to their small share in Iran’s auto market.

The SUV has a price tag of 987 million rials ($26,320). The company currently offers a discount of 10 million rials ($270) and a one-year free insurance scheme, as do almost all foreign carmakers selling in Iran.

The company is offering the model through several sales schemes with various down payments ranging from 60 to 490 million rials ($1,600 to $13,000).

According to the auto firm Karmania (official agent) website, the model has earned a five-star safety ranking in a Chinese car safety assessment program, C-NCAP.

The BYD S6 was first introduced in 2010 at the Guangzhou Auto Show in China before hitting the local Chinese market in 2011.

It did well, thanks to popular design and interior features. Features like its TFT gauge cluster, onboard digital video panel and remote control made it stand-out among the competitors.

While the design of S6 might not be the most attractive, it offers many perks Iranian SUV buyers seek.

Its familiar Mitsubishi-sourced engines give buyers a choice of three engine options and three transmissions. Seating for five is standard with the rear seats folding down, making room for more baggage space.

All-Electric Family Wagon

The company also plans to launch the BYD E6, an all-electric family wagon in Iran later in the year. BYD has become synonymous in recent years with being the leader in the Chinese electric car market and its  entry in Iran is highly likely to make a big splash.

The 60 kWh battery pack provides up to 186 miles/300 km of driving range per charge, and was expected to get a bigger battery that will let it do 250 miles/400 km between charge, reports Electric Vehicle News.

The  BYD E6 will see its 60 kWh battery boosted to 82 kWh, increasing the curb weight by about 100 kg/220 lb, but adding almost 110 additional km of cruising range per charge.

The automaker claims an energy density of 150 kWh. The price for such a vehicle in the United States stands at $48,350 (1.6 billion rials).

Moreover, Karmania is set to offer another sedan, the BYD F3 New. At first glance, this Chinese-built car looks like a mashup of a Honda Accord and Toyota Corolla with hints of other brands, but overall reports from other markets admit that the car build is of decent quality. It also scores well in Euro-NCAP crash tests by receiving 4 stars.

The F3 is powered by a 1.6-liter Mitsubishi-sourced engine, connected to a 5-speed manual Mitsubishi gearbox. Its interior is a replica of a last-generation Toyota Corolla, but with softer surfaces.