The Kia Pride is a subcompact car sold by the South Korean automobile manufacturer Kia Motors between March 1987 and January 2000, and again since September 2011. Between April 2005 and September 2011 the Kia New Pride had been sold. Original models derived from the Ford Festiva and sold in South Korea and some export markets. Between 2005 and 2011, the New Pride was the South Korean market name for the Kia Rio JB sold in export markets. The Pride sold since 2011 is also based on the Rio—this time the UB series. The Kia Pride badged version of the Festiva was manufactured in South Korea by Kia Motors from March 1987 to January 2000. Prior to its South Korean market release, exports as the Festiva had begun in December 1986 to Japan and the United States. The Pride was sold in four-door sedan form (in LX, GTX, and β trim levels), as well as three- and five-door hatchback forms (the CD-5) and five-door wagon body styles. The original Pride was only available as a three-door hatchback, while the five-door was added in June 1988. The four-door sedan model, the Pride Beta, arrived in November 1990, and the range was completed by the three-door van and five-door wagon in February 1992. In November 1993 the Pride received a minor facelift and production was also moved to Kia's Asia Motors subsidiary's Gwangju plant as Kia focused on the new Avella (Ford Aspire/WB Festiva). Until the Mazda 121 was replaced in late 1990, Kia-badged cars were only exported to certain tertiary markets. The Pride was replaced in 2000 by the Rio. The Pride launched in the United Kingdom in June 1991, fitted with both the 1.1- B1 and 1.3-liter B3 engines. The 1.1 was only available as a three-door in the basic L trim (whitewall tyres were a commonplace feature on them). There was also a panel van two-seater version in the UK and some other markets. Fuel injection appeared on the 1.3-liter-engined models in November 1994, referred to as the "1.3i". At this time, the 1.1-liter version was deleted. December 1995 saw the Start 1.3i three-door replace the L, but from June 1999, the entry-level three-door was again renamed S with the higher-level three- and five-doors known as the SX. Production ended during 2000. SAIPA SAIPA has built the Kia Pride in Iran under license since 1993 and using up to 85 percent local parts as the SAIPA Pride from 2001 to 2005. Since 2003, SAIPA has produced a new five-door liftback model based on the Pride called the SAIPA 141, while continuing to sell the Iranian version of the Pride under the names SAIPA Saba GLXi (four-door sedan), SAIPA Nasim Safari (five-door wagon) and SAIPA Nasim DMi (five-door hatchback). Compared to these versions, the SAIPA 141 features revised rear styling with a longer liftback tail, and different interior design. The SAIPA 141 is sold in Venezuela under name Turpial. Another variant, known as the SAIPA 132 began production in 2008 and differs from the Saba with its revised front and rear styling. The company introduced a coupe utility body style in 2008 under the name SAIPA Pick-Up, with a 500-kilogram (1,100 lb) payload. The platform/engine of the Kia Pride also formed the basis for the Iranian P.K (2000 to 2005) and New P.K (2005 to 2007) models, which utilize Renault 5 bodies. In Iran, the Pride continues to be the most common car with approximately 40 percent of vehicles in the country being a Pride-derived SAIPA. ArabAmerican Vehicles (AAV) manufactured the Pride in Cairo, Egypt, circa 1998. SAIPA (Persian: سایپا) is an automaker headquartered in Tehran, Iran. The SAIPAC (an acronym for the French Société anonyme iranienne de production des automobiles Citroën) was established in 1965 as with 75% Iranian ownership, to assemble Citroëns under license for the Iranian market and changed its name into SAIPA (Société anonyme iranienne de production automobile) in 1975 when the Iranian state withdrew from the company. Its products in recent years were mostly under-licensed Korean cars and its own engine and range of cars. The chief executive (president or managing director) of SAIPA is Mir Javad Solaimani, predecessor of whom was Mohammadreza Soroush. The main subsidiaries of SAIPA Group are Saipa Diesel, Pars Khodro and Zamyad Co. SAIPA signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Malaysia's Proton to jointly develop a new compact sedan to replace the SAIPA Pride. Historical models Saipa began by assembling Citroën's two-cylinder mini passenger car, the Dyane, in 1968. It went under the name Jyane (or Jian) in Iran. There was also an uncommonly ugly glazed panel van version of the Jyane, as well as the Baby-Brousse, a rustic little buggy in the style of a Citroën Méhari but with a metal body. Later, a pickup version of the Jyane also appeared. The Baby-Brousse was built from 1970 until 1979. In 1975 Saipa began manufacturing licensed versions of the original Renault 5 and later the Renault 21. Production of Citroëns ended in 1980. From 1986-1998 Saipa built the Z24 pickup, a license built version of the 1970-1980 Nissan Junior with a 2.4-litre engine. In 1998 Saipa took over the Zamyad company, which then undertook the production of the Z24. Since 2003, this truck has been sold under the Zamyad brand. Renault 5 production ended in 1994 (Pars Khodro took over the production lines), and the 21 was discontinued in 1997. In 1993 a relationship with KIA began, and production of the Kia Pride commenced. Saipa's Pride is marketed under the names Saba (saloon) and Nasim (hatchback). At the 2001 Tehran Motor Show the liftback Saipa 141 was added to the lineup. This is a five-door version based on the Saba, and is somewhat longer than the Nasim. The Pride series cars carry 97% local content. From 2001 to late 2010, Saipa has had also produced the Citroën Xantia under licence as well as assembling sedan models of the previous generation Kia Rio using parts imported from Korea, from May 2005 to late 2012 where Saipa lost its license to produce Kia Rios. In 2000, SAIPA purchased 51% of Pars Khodro. It also manufactures the Citroen C5 and the New C5. Other products are the Renault Tondar 90, a Renault Logan assembled by SAIPA and its subsidiary Pars Khodro in a joint venture with Renault known as Renault Pars, with over 100,000 orders within a week of it going on sale in March 2007. Production was launched in Venezuela in 2006, and in Syria in 2007. History In 2000, SAIPA launched its own design, the 701 Caravan minivan, which was face-lifted in 2003. In November 2008 SAIPA launched the Iran-made "SAIPA National Engine 231". In December 2008, SAIPA unveiled its new model: the Tiba/Miniator. The Tiba has a 4-cylinder gas engine and ABS, averages 7 liters of gasoline per 100 kilometers and puts out 80 PS (59 kW) with a displacement of 1,500 cc. The price quoted at the time of its launch in 2008 was less than 100 million rials (USD10,000). The car has been designed and produced by domestic experts. In its production the services of some 122 local manufacturers have been utilized and about 810 parts have been produced. 15,000 Tiba were to be produced in 2009. Production over the succeeding three years was to reach 200,000 per year, with new subsidiary, Kashan SAIPA taking up production of the car. The Tiba is expected to gradually replace the Pride of Kia Motors. The share of Tiba/Miniator in SAIPA’s exports will be about 20 percent by 2011. The model was originally named Miniator, but was later changed to Tiba (gazelle). A hatchback version of the Tiba, named the Tiba 211, was unveiled in 2013 by Saipa and its mass-production began at 2014. In 2002, a lift-back version of the Saba was introduced as the SAIPA 141. The SAIPA 132 debuted in 2007, and the SAIPA 111 in 2009. In 2012, a pick-up version of the SAIPA Pride was introduced, called the SAIPA 151. Its engine outputs roughly 68 hp, and is capable of carrying up to 460 kilograms (380 kilograms with the LPG engine). In 2015, Saipa began ramping up production of cars derived from Chinese manufacturers. In June 2018, Hirkani and SP100 were sent to india for being sold. For Iran’s Economy, the Price of a Car Matters More Than the Price of Oil The combination of reimposed sanctions, a slowing economy, and a devalued currency have put Iran’s automotive sector under severe pressure With nearly 1 million jobs linked to the automotive industry, the price of a new car could be even more important than the price of oil for the Iranian economy. In an interview with Bourse & Bazaar, Saeed Madani, the former CEO of SAIPA, Iran’s second largest automaker, warned that price controls are squeezing state-owned automakers as sanctions effect the overall economy. State-owned firms Iran Khodro and SAIPA, account for 90 percent of the 1.5 million vehicles manufactured in Iran each year, but are in many respects these firms are least prepared for the bumpy road ahead. Madani, who led the SAIPA for three years during the height of sanctions from 2012 to 2015, warned that dependence on imported raw materials and parts leaves Iranian automakers vulnerable as the economy slides into a recession. “With the rial weakening, carmakers’ purchasing power has been slashed. The input costs of auto parts industry have also increased significantly,” Madani explained. The rial has lost 70 percent of its value against the US dollar since the current Iranian fiscal began in March, making manufacturing inputs significantly more expensive. Automakers Face Pricing Squeeze These costs cannot always be passed onto the consumer. Presently, Iran’s Competition Council retains the power to set prices for many domestic products, including cars that are categorized as affordable, meaning their sticker price is less than IRR 450 million. Madani believes that even if the state is reluctant to deregulate the auto market at large, authorities must give a green light to the carmakers to increase prices. “The upgraded prices need to be set for each model depending on the share of imported auto parts in its production,” he said. The price increases are especially crucial for models assembled from imported completely knocked-down (CKD) kits, as these vehicles have a higher foreign parts content than those designed locally. Madani thinks prices for the vehicles assembled from CKD kits should be “at least doubled.” SAIPA’s most popular model is the entry-level Pride, based on a design from Korean automaker Kia. The Pride is the cheapest car made in Iran. To manufacture each Pride, “it is necessary to import USD 1,500 worth of parts and raw materials,” Madani explained. But while earlier this year, automakers were receiving foreign exchange at the subsidized rate of IRR 30,000 per dollar, today their currency is purchased through the NIMA system, established by the Central Bank of Iran to coordinate foreign exchange purchases and to track forex transactions involving banks, exchange houses, importers and exporters in real time. Over the last month, the average NIMA rate was IRR 92,304 per dollar. In Madani’s estimation, looking just to cost of inputs, and ignoring increased overheads facing SAIPA, the price of the Pride needs to be raised by IRR 90 million (USD 600) to bring its sticker price to IRR 320 million (USD 2200). The official price of the Pride was last raised in June, bringing it to IRR 227 million (USD 1,500). Today, the Pride is regularly selling for IRR 340 million (USD 2,300) in secondary markets, demonstrating the heavy subsidization enforced by the government. Failing to readjust prices could have dramatic consequences for the auto industry, warned Madani. “If the government does not let carmakers increase prices, they will go bankrupt. Firms will be forced to shut down many production lines and output rates will nosedive,” he said. Faced with this dilemma, the government will be tempted to throw the automakers a lifeline by providing financial aid and loans. But Madani considers such aid to be a burden for manufacturers, which will struggle to pay back debts in the future. Uncertain Government Response In recent weeks, government figures have repeatedly signaled that they are considering giving carmakers the green light to increase car prices. Financial newspaper Donya-e Eqtesad recently reported that industry stakeholders and officials are well aware that the car prices need to be increased, but are afraid of the political cost of such a decision as it will be seen as placing pressure on Iranian consumers. On October 31, Iran’s newly appointed industry minister, Reza Rahmani, told IRNA, “Automakers are not permitted to change car prices [on their own]. There is a designated legal mechanism for introducing new car prices. No decision has been made yet about changing car prices.” In the interview, Rahmani also questioned the credibility of the unaudited financial statements reported by the local media, which suggested that Iran Khodro and SAIPA had made losses amounting to IRR 21 trillion (USD 142 million) and IRR 29 trillion (USD 196 million) respectively in just the last six months. “Iranian automakers are not loss-making. By producing certain models local carmakers may incur losses. However, this is not an issue which cannot be resolved by better management of resources,” the minister countered. Rahmani revealed that a “specialized task force” had been established in coordination with industry executives “to study the problems which have hindered auto production over the past few months.” But time is short. “With every day passing carmakers’ loses will further pile up… Automakers should not be forced to foot the bill for subsidizing car prices in Iran,” Madani said. His assessment is shared by Maziar Beiglou, a board member of the Iran Auto Parts Makers Association. Beiglou recently stated in an interview that the “The situation has been worsening by the day,” pointing to the rising price of inputs such as iron ingots used by companies that produce automotive steel. In Beiglu’s assessment, more than 300 auto parts makers have been forced to stop production. Total vehicle production in Iran is down 15.1 percent looking to the first half of the current Iranian fiscal year, which began in March. Already, economic headwinds and slowing production have led to mass layoffs. Sate-owned companies such as Iran Khodro and SAIPA are unlikely to “resort to laying off workers” given the difficult optics for the Iranian government, Madani predicted. But private sector auto parts companies have already been forced to layoff “100,000 to 150,000” workers because of the deteriorating situation. Perplexed Iranians watch price of ‘moving coffin’ hit all-time high An Iranian-made vehicle notorious for its low safety standards has seen a price jump of around 50% in a matter of three weeks, sparking outrage. Car Prices in Iran: Not the Best Money Can Buy Pride has been rolling out of the assembly lines since 1993 and is based on a Kia Motor’s hatchback from the 1980s. The South Korean auto giant put an end to the sales of the car in 2000 T he cheapest to the costliest vehicle in Iran’s chaotic auto market have two key features few if any can miss: high price and low quality. The economy car known to all is SAIPA’s Pride. It comes in various versions. The models that sell best are the hatchback Pride 111 and the compact Pride 131, sold respectively for 480 and 430 million rials ($3,300 and 3,700). Pride has been rolling out of the assembly lines since 1993 and is based on a Kia Motor’s hatchback from the 1980s. The South Korean auto giant put an end to the sales of the car in 2000. Whenever there is talk of halting production of low-quality cars, SAIPA’s Pride automatically tops the sin list. The vehicle is notorious for low safety, poor mileage and high emission. Simply put, a major road hazard. Aside from SAIPA’s Tiba and Runna — the other inexpensive car is the Peugeot 405. The vehicle now sells for 770 million rials ($5,920). The French automotive company launched the 405 in 1987. In 1992, and as per an agreement with Peugeot, Iran Khodro started manufacturing the model. Peugeot halted production of this car in the EU in 1997. In addition to Iran, the vehicle is produced only in Egypt. While the 405 is of better quality compared to Pride and is roomier, it is a notorious gas-guzzler.
The so-called low-cost and inexpensive models aside, local firms also produce four cars which, relatively speaking, can be said are of acceptable quality, albeit at a price Next in line is IKCO’s locally designed Samand. The engine and gearbox in the 405 is used in Samand but the vehicle is bulkier compared to the French-derived sedan. Samand was Iran’s first domestically-made sedan. It is available in various options and can cost between 780 million and 1 billion rials ($6,000 to $7,920).
Something Decent The so-called low-cost and inexpensive models aside, local firms sell four cars which, relatively speaking, can be said are of acceptable quality, albeit at a price. The least expensive among the four is the Peugeot 206 and a darling of most Iranians in the middle of the economic ladder. As is a norm with local carmakers, the vehicle has been face-lifted numerous times and is available with a variety of options. Peugeot 206, made by IKCO, has a sporty look that makes it more popular with younger people and can cost up to 880 million rials ($6,770). Then there is IKCO’s Dena, another locally-designed sedan. Compared to IKCO’s first shot at designing a vehicle (Samand), Dena looks much better on the exterior. Under the hood it is a Samand twin. Dena comes in various versions and has been face-lifted once. The face-lifted version is Dena+ and can be bought between 1.06 and 1.50 billion rials ($8,150 and $11,460) – pretty costly going by local standards. Both IKCO and SAIPA used to work with France’s Renault prior to the imposition of new US economic sanctions. IKCO manufactured Renault’s Logan (locally known as Tondar 90 or L90) while SAIPA assembled the Sandero Stepway. Logan is one of the best vehicles available in Iran. People who own this car for years are happy with their choice and recommend it as a safe ride with low maintenance costs. Sandero Stepway is also popular but its production was halted months ago and a new Stepway is hard to come by. Logan and Stepway are respectively sold for 1.35 and 1.48 billion rials ($10,400 and $11,400). One of the Iranian industries hurt by the new US sanctions imposed last year is the auto manufacturing and assembling sector. Dependent on imports for selected key parts, local carmakers have been struggling hard to get around because banking with foreign suppliers and dealers has become extremely difficult if not outright impossible. The icing on the cake is the tanking of the national currency over the past year. With the rial having lost almost 70% of its value and foreign currency rates at all time high, car companies claim that making and selling cars at 2017 forex prices is a thing of the past.