Iran’s automotive industry has experienced many ups and downs since the early 1930s. Noisy and fringe industrial. From the production of Peykan and Samand to the increasing import of foreign cars and finally saying goodbye to the best business partners during 60 years of experience in the Iranian automotive industry. July 10 has been named Industry and Mining Day in the national calendar. Therefore, in the following report, we take a look at the automotive industry in Iran:
Iran’s automotive industry, like other industries in the country, was involved in challenges and difficulties from the beginning, so that in the early days of the Iranian automotive industry, with the assembly of some automotive models, such as military and jeep vehicles. Of course, it should be noted that the Jeep car has no direct connection with politics in any country, but every country has used it to survive in military equipment.
After assembling military vehicles and jeeps, Iran suddenly entered the car production cycle. In such a way that it can be divided into four important car decades as before, such as before the Islamic Revolution, 60s, 70s and 80s.
What was the name of the first car in Tehran?
Unlike today, when each car is marketed with a specific name and model, but the first car imported to Iran did not have a specific name or model. It was, in the simplest form possible, a carriage with steam and fire.
Tehran’s first cars were the Ford Croc clutch rides, which were known for their solid tires, which were more like today’s vans.
These machines, known as Lari machines, became popular in Iran from the time of Mozaffar al-Din Shah onwards.
The automotive industry before the revolution
Perhaps the best look at the situation of the Iranian car industry before the Islamic Revolution is the years 1335 and 1357, the years when the free market ruled over this industry. Of course, this period has also been called the peak of American car exports, and in contrast, the prominent presence of other European brands such as Mercedes-Benz, Citroen, Roots of England and even Nissan should not be ignored.
Before the Islamic Revolution, the car market was more competitive and imports were free, and Iranians enjoyed more open political relations and higher purchasing power, which encouraged General Motors to invest in Iran and establish the first advanced production lines outside the United States.
But an important weakness of the Iranian automobile industry before the victory of the Islamic Revolution was its assembly-oriented structure. In this way, almost no car parts were produced in Iran, and for assembling a car, importing parts takes the lead.
60s: Japanese-style car industry
The 60’s is an unforgettable decade for Iranians. When there was a need for the prosperity of industries and commercial markets, the imposed war suddenly began and affected many Iranian industries, and the automotive industry was no exception to this rule.
In the early days of the war, there was not even a glimpse of car assembly. The United States had withdrawn from the Iranian car industry and the economic conditions of the people were not suitable for buying luxury cars. Therefore, a step had to be taken to produce a car at an affordable price!
But during the eight years of the war, there was no car manufacturing in Iran and no technology for making car parts; For this reason, Iran had no choice but to welcome the Japanese and welcome car assembly.
In this regard, however, some experts believe that the Japanese had entered Iran before the revolution but had never expanded their activities in Iran. In the meantime, it is said that the most important reason for the presence of the Japanese in Iran was bilateral trade and receiving oil from Iran; As a result, the Japanese quickly became popular in the Iranian market.
70s: France and Korea compete in the Iranian market
A strange and, of course, full of experience decade for the Iranian car industry became controversial with the production of Peugeot 405 in 1989 and Kia Pride in 1993. Now what was this controversy for? Pride has a history of production in South Korea and the United States as an export or low-cost, low-consumption city car. The Peugeot 405, on the other hand, was named Europe’s Car of the Year in 1988, and was slightly more expensive, safer, and larger than the Pride.
In the same years, the production of these two new car models was carried out simultaneously with the production of Peykan, and the production portfolio of car products in the country was greatly diversified.
1980s: The arrival of the Chinese and the departure of the French
The 1980s for the Iranian auto industry cannot be described as the 1960s. But the pressure of this decade can be compared to the last two decades. Because this time was nothing short of the pressure of war, and the automobile industry saw difficult days.
At the same time, of course, the Chinese seized the opportunity and overnight the hundred-year-old Americans and Europeans to enter the Iranian market. So that they concluded several contracts and continued this process until the 90s and were able to prepare tables full of various Chinese products for the Iranian market.
It was around the end of the 80’s that the French made new decisions to innovate their products in the Iranian market, put their hands on all kinds of Peugeot 206 and its reproduction flourished in the Iranian market.
It was at this time that sanctions were imposed on Iran, and Renault and Peugeot gradually reduced their share of the Iranian car market, and this action of the French, however, was welcomed by the Chinese and their production increased.
After looking at the four most influential automotive periods in the Iranian automotive industry, it is time for the tumultuous decade of the 1990s. A decade that began with the presence of foreign business partners and soon saw them say goodbye and leave the automotive industry.
In this decade, car production and imports increased several times compared to previous periods. One after another, foreign companies became eager to cooperate with Iran, and eventually, one after another, joint venture contracts boosted the automotive industry.
90s; Imports peak and stop abruptly
The 90’s is one of the best and perhaps the most memorable decades for the Iranian car industry. Because at the beginning of this decade, car imports to Iran began. But in 1994, after the success of Borjam, joint venture contracts and the entry of foreign automakers into Iran one by one, strengthening previous contracts and expanding production lines of co-operative cars and assembly opened the field for this industry.
The French, Chinese and Japanese came to Iran one after another. Iranian car companies prospered in the same proportion, competition between Iranian and foreign carmakers was formed, and finally the day was welcomed by the automotive industry.
The unveiling of common cars increased day by day, the registration of foreign cars with special installments and conditions flourished by the dealers, and the car market took on a new color and smell. But the situation did not last long, and the US withdrawal from the UN Security Council coincided with exchange rate fluctuations in the spring of 1997, hurting the auto industry more than ever.
With the withdrawal of the United States from the P5 + 1 group, Iran’s trading partners in the automotive industry also considered going ahead to stay, and some gathered the production equipment and suspended some contracts on the table, so that maybe one day there is a way to return to Iran. Be.
On the other hand, the import of cars was banned from July 1997, and even pre-purchased cars were not assigned. As of the end of 1999, a large number of cars are still waiting to be cleared through customs and reach customers.
The day of the automobile industry is recorded in the history of our country, the 10th of July.
The growth of car production during the Corona and gaining the position of the 15th largest automaker in the world
With the outbreak of the Corona virus in the world, which reduced production and in some cases shut down the automotive industry, Iran, however, announced a 20% increase in production and was able to rank 15th in the world.
According to the International Motor Vehicles Organization, global car production fell by 32% in 2020, with the largest decline in car sales in the United States and Europe. It seems that car production in Asia has been appropriate. At the time of the outbreak of the Corona virus, 17 million 762 thousand vehicles were produced in Asia, which is a 25 percent decrease compared to the same period in Asia.
Although car production statistics in Iran have not been announced by foreign companies, the Ministry of Silence has announced an increase in domestic car production. During the two seasons of winter 98 and spring 99, 473,461 vehicles were produced, which has recorded a growth of 20% compared to the same period last year.