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SAIPA outpaces Iran Khodro first time ever

TEHRAN, Oct. 8 (Mehr News Agency) - SAIPA left behind its longtime rival car manufacturer, Iran Khodro Company (IKCO), in the first half of the year (Iranian year started March 21, 2006) by substantial gap, the Persian service of ISNA reported.

This was the first time ever, the manufacturer of popular Pride passenger cars outran the IKCO in over a decade-long competition. Thanks to production of 195,450 Prides in the first six months which outpaced the record annual production of past-time favorite of Iran's auto market, the bygone Paykan.

The period witnessed total of 222,520 passenger and commercial vehicles churned out by SAIPA, whereas IKCO had to be happy with 175,000. The figure is still far off from the announced annual production of 600,000.

Peugeot 405 was the mainstay of IKCO for the interval with 60,333 rolled off the assembly line. It seems that the highway police repeated reports on 405's road fatalities by catching fire on the instance of impact have not deterred the buyers yet.

Pride, as production expected to hit record 400,000 by yearend, fares no better than 405 with its 80's technology, weak engine and inherent safety problems. Many believe this outdated car, only second to Paykan, should be replaced by newer cars. Nevertheless, constant delay of L-90 equipped with 2005 technology and anticipated stumpy production for next three years, may leave the Pride's downpour unaffected in the meantime.

The new Peugeot RD was the second bestseller for the previous champ at 31,838 units while the popular Peugeot 206 and the high-end Pars followed the ranks for the period. Samand production reached 26,081 and the price increase seems to be mainly due to several thousand being exported recently.

Both giants offered LNG-fueled versions around one percent of total production in the said time.

... Payvand News - 10/8/06 ... --

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