Chinese cars on sale in Iran are being sold at significantly inflated prices compared to their actual value, Lotfollah Siahkoli, a member of the Iranian parliament has said.
Siahkoli made the comments during a meeting at the Hokmranin Sharif (dignified governance) Think Tank on Wednesday, June 21.
According to Siahkoli, the real price of these cars ranges from 300 to 350 million tomans ($6,000 to $7,000) but they are being imported and sold in the market for a staggering 3 billion tomans ($60,000), or ten times their market value.
Highlighting the importance of transparency, Siahkoli urged the public to conduct "a simple internet search" to verify accurate prices for Chinese cars.
"In today's interconnected world, you cannot tell Iranians not to compare their living standards and amenities with those of other countries," he said. "You cannot expect them to not consider the price and quality of their cars in comparison to foreign models.”
The sale of Chinese cars in Iran – along with the alleged price gauging – has taken off due to the imposition of US sanctions and the withdrawal of western car companies from the Iranian market. But Chinese companies, which do not observe US sanctions, instead of establishing car manufacturing facilities within Iran have opted to primarily supply vehicle parts or to export vehicles to the country.
The Tehran Chamber of Commerce reported that Iran imported more than $2.1 billion worth of vehicle parts last year, with all supplies originating from China.
This value represents approximately 16% of Iran's total imports from China from March 2022 to March 2023.
While China's customs data indicates a 40.5% decrease in imports from Iran during the first five months of this year compared to the same period last year, Chinese exports to Iran have surged by over 41% within that timeframe.