Financial Tribune- Kerman Motor, Iran’s second largest private carmaker has halted the assembly of three Chinese-derived models namely JAC J5 and Lifan’s model 620 and X50.
The models are to be replaced by JAC J4 and S7, the company’s sales manager Hassan Akbari was quoted as saying by local automotive website Asbe Bokhar.
During the nine months to Dec. 21, Kerman Motor assembled 3,636 units of JAC J5, Lifan X50 and X620 or 11% of its total output.
In December 2017, the three models along with 22 other cars were singled out as substandard by the Institute of Standards and Industrial Research of Iran. At the time, ISIRI deputy director Peyman Pirayesh said, “The cars do not meet Iran’s mandatory automotive quality standards and their production must end.”
In response to the ISIRI announcement, semi-state-owned automotive companies Iran Khodro and SAIPA started complaining about the “sudden imposition of stringent rules,” claiming that phasing out the low quality vehicles would take much time and effort.
In this regard, the Kerman Motor official says, “Unlike many local carmakers, we do not believe that one model can be produced indefinitely. After three to five years each model should be replaced with upgraded versions.” The private company agrees with the general public who often censure IKCO and SAIPA for producing the same cars for two to three decades.
Akbari says the J4 will arrive in the market soon. He did not elaborate on the price but it is expected to be the range of 500 to 600 million rials ($11,600 to $13,900). According to Ministry of Industries data, Kerman Motor has already assembled 20 units of the model.
The J4 is a small family sedan, equipped with a 1.5 liter, 110-hp engine tailed by a five-speed CVT transmission. The model comes with a better engine compared to its siblings available in Iran’s market and has improved power, better fuel economy, and less carbon emissions.
According to Akabri, the assembly lines of S7 will be launched by September. The S7 is the Chinese brands largest SUV to date. It comes with two motor options a 1.5-liter engine with 174 hp output and a 2-liter 190hp engine. The S7 is one of the latest cars produced by JAC and was unveiled at the Shanghai 2017 International Automobile Exhibition in April of last year.