Cars prices skyrocket in Iran despite watchdog’s promise to act

Azer News– As car prices in Iran have skyrocketed, an Iranian watchdog has expressed great concern over the situation, saying it disregards the wellbeing of people.

Over the past month, prices for imported cars went up by around 150 million rials (USD at 42,000 rials), also influencing the home-made cars market.

“Between 4,000 and 5,000 cars have been imported, which are, through rents, in the hands of four or five people,” Nasser Seraj, the head of the Inspection Organization of Iran said December 17.

“There are some tens of thousands of cars that worth over 1 billion rials,” he said, adding “These have gone up in price and now we should see to whose pocket the money went.”

The official outright refuted claims that the increase in prices was aimed at encouraging people to buy Iranian-made cars.

He said he considers it a duty to pursue the case to the end and bring the perpetrators under the rule of law.

The price of the hybrid Hyundai Sonata rose 210 million rials ($5,250) from August to December, 10 percent just in the last week. The car was sold for 1.86 billion rials ($46,500) this month. The same South Korean vehicle is offered at less than half this price in the international market, but has few buyers.

Hyundai Tucson in the meantime also had a huge jump from 1.86 to 2.1 billion rials ($46,500 to $52,500) in the past three months. Elantra’s price also rose from 1.6 to 1.63 billion rials ($40,000 to $40,750) last week. The model is available in foreign markets for anything between $26,500 and $28,500.

KIA is another popular brand. The Cerato sold for 1.43 billion rials ($35,750) back in August but is now priced at 1.6 billion rials ($40,000).

The price of this car shot up 30 million rials ($750) in less than a week.

The KIA Optima, one of the beautiful luxury sedans, is dearer by 70 million rials ($1,750) and is offered at 2.1 billion rials ($52,500). The same company’s Sportage SUV has also had a huge jump rising from 1.75 to 2 billion rials ($43,750 to $50,000). Both models start at $25,000 in the international market.

Hyundai’s Santa Fe, which is popular with people who can afford expensive cars, has registered the biggest increase in price. It is currently sold for 2.7 billion rials ($67,500) — up 280 million rials ($7,000) over the past 90 days.

Despite Seraj’s promise, experts in Iran believe that the prices are to go even higher in the coming Iranian fiscal year (to start March 21).

“These new prices set by importers or even domestic producers have not taken into account the prospective increase in tariffs, currency prices, or many other factors. So these factors are going to rise, and as a result end user prices will rise also,” Navid Deyhami, a car market expert told Trend.