Iran motorcycles industry was topping the World a decade ago when sales reached the 1.5 million per year. Then, the introduction of limits to the two-wheeler emission killed the local industrial system, boosted the price of imported models and resulted in a collapse not yet ended. In the 2018, the market hit the lower level in the last 30 years, just over the 100.000 units.
Tehran is among the most polluted cities in the World and the use of motorcycles with very old technology is considered a key factor. Due to their affordable price and the easy use, plus a do-by-yourself assistance for repairing, over 11 million two-wheeler are circulating in Iran (more than the half in the capital) used for transportation of passengers and cargo.
It is estimated that near 5 million of them should be scrapped because of very high co2 emission, while until the 2016 over 245 local makers were producing any sort of unregulated moped, for low price, but high damage for the healthy.
A real earthquake arrived at the end of 2016 causing the closing of 85% of local producers and leaving the space to the domination of importers (via CKD system).
Over 11 million motorcycles are used in Iran, and service life of at least 4.7 million of them has ended and they should be scrapped. In Tehran, one of the must polluted cities of the world, motorcycles are used for transportation of passengers and cargo.
Production of motorcycles in Iran has declined sharply and more than 200 companies have been forced to down their shutters and send thousands of workers home. Outdated technologies used by local producers have made them unable to meet local standards and undermined the sector. Furthermore, the low quality rendered them unable to compete with foreign firms present in Iran through imports.
The huge drop in motorcycle production is partly due to the introduction of new regulations. Last October, the government put an end to production of carburetor-equipped motorcycles, as part of the new policy to cut production of vehicles and motorcycles with high emission and high fuel consumption.
One of the main rulings introduced by the government has been the 2003 ban the carburetor-equipped vehicles production, which was not regarding the motorcycles until the end of 2016.
In addition, in the 2014 the Government has taken the decision to adopt euro 4 standard for motorcycles from April 2018 (then extended at the end of 2018). Surprisingly, the auto’s rules are less restrictive!
Despite the long period given to the industry to adequate their technology,when the new rules become effective the market collapsed, with 2017 sales dropped down 80% and – as said – the shut down of near 85% of local producers, which left the market totally in the hands of importers, Japanese as first but also Chinese and Indian.
New rules, new prices
From the other side, new rules boosted the price of remaining models. As sample, before of the new government restrictions a normal motorbike could be gotten for 15 million rials ($385). Two models available in this price range were the 2-stroke Honda-based CG125 and CDI 125. Now, the two models are still available in the market but at a much higher price, close to 35 million rials ($900).
One of the prevalent brands is the Italian brand Benelli. The companies TNT 250 model, which is manufactured in China under license of the Italian company, is sold for 210 million rials ($5,380). The same model can be bought for $2,890 in the international market.
Another imported brand is India’s Bajaj which is also popular with the younger generation. This company is doing well with prices ranging from 60 to 110 million rials ($1,500-$2,820) depending on the options.
One of the most expensive bike in the market is the Honda CBR 1000 RR, which cost 1.35 billion rials (€33,750).
The record sales was established in the 2006, when this was among the Top 4 markets (with China and India and Indonesia) and sales hit the 1.5 million.
Despite declined in the recent years, the Iranian motorcycles market was still around half a million units in the 2015 before to heavy loose in the 2014 (down at 0.4 million, with imported brands counting only a very marginal 1%, before to really collapse at 120.000 units in the 2017.
In the 2018, the trend unchanged sales declined just above 100.000 units.
Motorcycle manufacturers and importers include firms like Mahd-e-Mina and Alpha Khodro. as the largest local producers plus other brands represented in the country like Bajaj, Honda, Kawasaki, Benelli, Yamaha, Suzuki and Apache.