Introducing The All New Ayatolla Auto

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt
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.

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  • Vozilka Vozilka on Dec 15, 2008

    The remaining USA indigenous car industry (Honda, BMW e.g.) after the demise of the D3 will be more truly indigenous then the gone one ever was. In every aspect of production, jobs, outsourcing and development the buyers, markets and workers alike will win. Provided you look closely.

  • Chuckgoolsbee Chuckgoolsbee on Dec 15, 2008

    Looks like a Toyota Echo. --chuck

  • Ron Ron on Dec 15, 2008

    Are the RPGs optional this year? Those and the shrapnel bombs should've been made standard by now. That's alright, as long as they still give the rebate for 72 virgins then I'm happy.

  • Farko Farko on Mar 31, 2009

    You guys keep making condescending reamrks about the developing world and drown in cmplacency while one day you wake up and find yourselves as the new thirld-world nation of the 21st century (probably in a couple of decades). While American car industry is dying out due to making cars that nobody wants to buy, Iran is developing practical compact and mid-size cars with minimal consumption and pollution. Of course, you guys don't like that for you'd rather see the middle-Easterners as the dumb consumers, that's why you call Egypt, KSA and Jordan as "moderate" states, and Iran as the "bomb" nation. But if you open your eyes and check the scentific oympiads in the world, you'll find Iranian university students always among the top 5 in math, physics, chem, biotech, nanotech... while America stands at between 17th and 30th in world rankings. Here is Iran's GNC burning mid-size sedan: