Introducing The All New Ayatolla Auto
Sergio Marchionne, eat your heart out. There’s yet another car manufacturer in town. All the way from Iran, we present to you: SAIPA and the all new Miniator! Last weekend, Iranian manufacturer SAIPA launched their first Iranian-grown car, the Miniator, Automobilwoche [sub] reports. The compact sedan is powered by a 1.5 liter 4-banger – also of Iranian provenance – that makes 80 hp. Guess if they can build missiles and nuclear bombs, bulding a car should be within their grasp. A price for the ayatollah auto has not been announced. Saipa-chief Mehrdad Bazrpash said the “car will be affordable to give poorer people the chance to own a car.” It is widely understood that the price point should be somewhere around $10K. Saipa was established in 1966 to assemble the two-cylinder Citroën mini passenger car, the Dyane. Later they manufactured licensed versions of the Renault 5, Renault 21 and Kia Pride. SAIPA also produces the Citroën Xantia along with other Citroën models. The Iranian government is said to own 48 percent of SAIPA. I’m trying to talk Michael Karesh, who is currently with me in Beijing, to detour through Teheran on his way back to test drive the all new Miniator, but he’s making up excuses.