Iran is the biggest car market in the Middle-East with an estimated 1 million+ cars sold each year. Two main manufacturers share the market: Iran Khodro (IKCO) and Saipa.
Saipa has launched the new Tiba, destined to become the brand’s biggest seller: 15,000 units were built in 2009 but its objective is to reach 200,000 units per year by 2012. The Saipa Pride (a 1986 Kia Pride) apparently accounts for up to 30% of Iran’s car park, but its production has now ceased.
Iran Khodro launched the Soren in 2007, a revised version of the 2000 Samand which was the first Iranian-designed car. It is exported in 18 countries and 77,409 units were produced in 2008. The Iran Khodro Runna, based on the Peugeot 206, will launch in September 2011 and aims to reach 150,000 units a year at full production.
IKCO also produces a restyled version of the 1987 Peugeot 405 under various names (405, Pars, RC and Roa) with enormous success: 258,090 units were produced in 2008 alone! The Peugeot 206 is also produced in Iran (2008 production figure is 78,399: 39,480 SD, 38,919 HB).
More commentaries, photos and links below.
Production numbers are available for the 2002-2003 and 2003-2004 periods in Iran, giving a pretty accurate idea of which cars are the best-sellers in the country. The Saipa Pride, a 1986 Kia Pride in hatchback (Nasim) and sedan (Saba) versions, is the most popular model in the country with 206,263 units produced, up 51% over 2002-2003.
With 145,532 units produced in 2003-2004, the Paykan is not #1 in Iran, probably for the first time in 35 years! The Paykan is the iconic Iranian car, based on the 1966 Hillman Hunter, and produced by Iran Khodro since 1967. By 1972 nearly all cars in the country were Paykans and the streets are still filled with this model nowadays. More details on the Paykan here.
The Peugeot 405 is #3 with 143,934 units (up 78%) ahead the Peugeot 206 with 60,465 units (up 75%). For its first full year of production, the first 100% Iranian car, the Iran Khodro Samand, comes in at #5 with 58,197 units.
Full 2002-2003 & 2003-2004 Production Ranking Table and more pictures below.
Based on the 1966 Hillman Hunter, the Paykan started being assembled in Iran in 1967 by Iran National (later renamed Iran Khodro), and full-scale manufacture of the car, less the engine, was effective in the mid-70’s.
By 1972, it seemed that all the cars in the streets of the country were Paykans, and the model went on to lead the Iranian sales for an astounding 35 years… A total of 1.4 million have been produced.