SAIPA to produce Citroen crossover in Iran

Financial Tribune- SAIPA is set to produce a subcompact crossover based on Citroen C3, which is an exclusive model offered by the Franco-Chinese joint venture Dongfeng Peugeot-Citroen in the Chinese auto market.

The CEO of SAIPA visited Paris last week and met with his PSA Group counterpart Carlos Tavares, the Iranian company’s press office reported.

SAIPA and PSA Group’s subsidiary Citroen signed a 50-50 joint venture in late 2016, based on which the Paris-based carmaker is obliged to invest more than €300 million ($352 million) in Iran over the next five years.

SAIPA chief Mohsen Jahrodi announced that collaborations between SAIPA and Citroen will be expanded.

According to earlier announcements, SAIPA is to produce Citroen’s C3 in Iran.

Jahrodi had said then that a subcompact crossover based on the model manufactured in China under Dongfeng Peugeot-Citroen JV will also be made in Iran. The crossover model is named C3 XR.

The price for C3 XR starts at 108.80 yuan and ends at 171.80 yuan ($17,500 – $27,700). Industry insiders are of the opinion that the company will offer the car at 900 million to 1.1 billion rials ($19,000 to $23,000).

C3 XR was initially unveiled during the Beijing 2014 Auto Show. With a higher riding stance than the conventional C3, the model is equipped with a gasoline-powered 1.6-liter turbocharged engine with 160 horsepower mated to a six-speed automatic gearbox.

The model measures 4,262 mm in length, 1,748 mm in width and 1,557 mm in height, and has a wheelbase of 2,655 mm. It is said to be based on an extended version of the platform that underpins Peugeot 2008.

SAIPA started a test assembly of Citroen C3 in January. The mass production of C3, initially from semi-knocked-down kits, will start in May.

C3 is a small hatchback equipped with a 1.6-liter turbo four-cylinder engine with a 163 hp output. It meets Euro 5 emission standards and was initially unveiled in 2002 in France.

In addition to C3, two other Citroen models C4 and C6 will also be made in Iran. Under the JV, Citroen SUVs will be produced by SAIPA in the near future.

Jahrodi said that during his recent meeting with Tavares, the two automakers laid the groundwork for exporting Citroen cars manufactured in Iran.