Iran unveils off-brand version of Dacia Logan for Iranian, Russian markets

Iran unveils off-brand version of Dacia Logan for Iranian, Russian markets
Iran has presented its first car aimed at both the Russian and Iranian markets.
By bne IntelIiNews April 17, 2023

The Iranian “Sandero”, a car that might in fact be taken for an analogue of the Mark 1 Dacia Logan and will be sold in both Iran and Russia, has been unveiled.

Prior to 2019, Renault had agreements with three Iranian manufacturers to produce the Logan in Iran but pulled out of the Islamic Republic as the US applied renewed sanctions pressure on Tehran. The Sandero, a rehashed version of the Logan, also referred to as the “L90”, was developed partly thanks to help from Russia’s Lada maker, AvtoVAZ, which produces the engine block.  

Iranian Minister of Industry, Mine and Trade Reza Fatemi Amin, who unveiled the Sandero, said: “For this product there is now the process of ordering parts, production and standardisation, and preliminary agreements have been made for this car to be produced in Russia in addition to Iran.”

According to Quds Online, the car is produced by Pars Khodro (previously General Motors Iran but now controlled by second largest Iranian automaker SAIPA), with the final version built on the Logan platform. That platform has now produced three vehicles: the Thunder (L)90, Sandero and Sandero Stepway.

The engine used for the Sandero is based on the Renault K4M l90 engine.

As part of the car production deal with Russia, a version of the Sandero will be shipped to the Russian market under the name “Cadilla.”  

According to a February report by Tejarat Online, SAIPA has signed an agreement for the export of 45,000 vehicles to Russia over the current Persian year (started March 21), marking the company's entry onto the Russian market.

SAIPA has expressed a desire to capture the lower end of the Russian car market, left vacant following the exit of European and Japanese car brands due to the economic backlash against Russia that has followed the Ukraine invasion. However, the Iranian automaker will face fierce competition from low-cost Chinese imports and also from AvtoVaz.

Auto industry trade journals note that Iranian cars, built on localised foreign platforms, have never been properly tested in the harsh winter conditions of Russia.