Dr. Iman Karke Abadi

Iman Karke Abadi is the sales manager of Asia Khodro and also directs the after-sales services and plays an essential role in development and sales strategies.

Mr. Karke Abadi has a bachelor’s degree in information technology and has been dedicately working in the automotive industry for over 10 years.

By keeping his knowledge Up-To-Date and achieving all the certifi cates offered by Iran Khodro and the International Automotive Management Association, he was able to shine brightly in this industry and has been active in all aspects of IT and automotive.

Please tell us about your assessment of Iran's current automotive industry.

Regarding the ongoing actions and the current circumstances, we have planned on importing parts from abroad and assemble them inside Iran. I strongly believe that the quality of our products will improve.

In your opinion, what are the most notable changes that have taken place in Iran’s automotive industry in recent years?

While the Iranian government and the domestic automakers are working on improving the quality of their products, they have lost some of their competitive edges. In contrast, foreign automakers, such as Chinese manufacturers, have been steadily improving their products and services, offering better quality, variety, and customer service.

Do you mind explaining the percentage of the Iranian car market share, which is being in the hands of Chinese?

I can partially answer this question. According to our statistics, sales of Chinese cars and products have been much higher than those of Iran Khodro in the past 1 or 2 years. This is likely due to the competitive prices of Chinese cars compared to Iran Khodro’s, and the fact that Chinese cars have consistently been available for sale, except for a recent period. I estimate that Chinese cars now account for about 40-50% of the car market in Tehran.

Can you please tell us about Asia Khodro? How long has it been operating, and what brands do they work with?

They have been working in the automotive industry for 30 years, with focusing on sales and after-sales services. They began their career with the central branch of Tehran Pars under the supervision of the infamous brand, Opel. Later on, they worked with Iran Khodro as the authorized agency 1133. In 2012, they founded Asia Khodro Group, which now has several sales and service branches, including the one in Tehran Pars and another in Pasdaran, that specializes in Fownix products.

It is undeniable that customers pay lots of attention to the after-sales services. Do the products have comprehensive after-sales service?

While we do not want to criticize the automotive industry, keep in mind that dealerships are graded. We are proud to have achieved a fi rst-grade rating, and our after-sales service is comprehensive. This is due to our high level of performance, quick turnaround times, and positive customer feedback. We offer unique services that are not available in other dealerships, such as free car wash, free transportation to and from our dealership, and a wide range of after- sales services, including detailing, options, smoothing and painting, PDR and repairs.

Can you share your thoughts on the potential and the position of the domestic automobile brands in the region (Such as Turkey and the UAE), in comparison with the foreign ones.

The potential to improve is always there. In the past, Iranian car manufacturing was much better than other countries. Now, with the production of parts inside Iran and the assembly of cars here, the quality has improved signifi cantly. However, the Chinese cars from Fownix and Cherry brands, such as Tigo, are 8 times more technologically advanced than the current cars in the world. Our cars and products are not in that level yet.

Can you predict the potential of using artifi cial intelligence (AI) in the automotive industry in Iran?

First, there is a voice assistant that is not currently available in the products of Iran Khodro. This is a convenient feature that is already available on iPhones and Androids. It allows users to control their devices with their voice, such as opening windows. I believe that this feature will eventually be available in Iran Khodro products. Other potential features include heart rate detection and stress level detection. However, these features may not be available for another 15-20 years.

Please tell us about the different ways that you have used artifi cial intelligence (AI) in your products.

We have used ISS in our products which is a fuel-effi cient and eco-friendly system that determines when the car should be turned on or off. This system takes the temperature inside and outside the cabin into account, and also pays attention to whether the air conditioner should be on or off. If it is hot outside, the system will not allow the car to turn off, as the air inside the cabin will be hotter than the air outside.

ISS also has an intelligent high beam system that automatically turns the high beams on and off depending on the ambient light. This system uses a light sensor to detect when the light is low, and it will automatically turn on the high beams. If a car is coming from the front, the system will detect the car and automatically turn down the high beams to avoid blinding the driver.

ISS also has an intelligent high beam system that automatically turns the high beams on and off depending on the ambient light. This system uses a light sensor to detect when the light is low, and it will automatically turn on the high beams. If a car is coming from the front, the system will detect the car and automatically turn down the high beams to avoid blinding the driver.

ISS also has a Level 3 autonomous driving mode. This means that the car can drive itself on the highway, but the driver must still be ready to take over at any time.

The car uses sensors to see the road and other cars, and it can maintain a set speed and distance from the car in front. If the car in front brakes, ISS will brake automatically. ISS also has a feature that warns drivers who are following too closely. The car will fl ash its lights and honk its horn to alert the driver to back off.

Is there an autopilot option in cars inside Iran?

Only Tiggo 8 has the third version of automatic driving.

Many people are either afraid of this autopilot option and are afraid that it won't work properly, or they like to drive themselves. Which one do you prefer?

I highly enjoy driving myself.

What are the advantages of driving a car that has an autopilot feature?

I agree that autopilot has a lot of advantages for long, smooth roads. It can be a great way to relax and enjoy the scenery while the car takes care of the driving. However, I still prefer to drive myself for the most part. I enjoy the feeling of being in control of the car and the sense of accomplishment that comes from driving a long distance safely.

Will the upcoming Opel models be technologically comparable to Fownix?

No, Opel is not comparable with Fownix in terms of technology. Fownix is more technologically advanced; having features such as adaptive cruise control and automatic emergency braking. Opel focuses more on the quality of the engine and gearbox, and its service is also valued. In the near future, car managers will be introducing a new luxurious brand called Oxide (Exeed) to Iran. This is considered as a luxurious Chinese brand and is incomparable with Fownix.

Let’s talk about the factors that Iranians who want to buy cars consider when making a purchase. Which factor do you think is the most important? quality, price, or the services?

In the past, when cars were less expensive, people generally bought cars with more features. For example, Erizo was 580 million tomans, but now it is 1 billion.

However, there are several groups of customers who are looking for different things. People who used to own a BMW or a Mercedes-Benz and want to buy a car with almost the same features, would rather buy a Fownix. Of course they are aware of the fact that Benz and BMW are way better cars, but they are still satisfi ed with Fownix.

Others have done their research on Fownix and know what the gearbox and the engines are made of, and they buy a car with peace of mind. Finally, there are people who buy the regular Mini X22 or X22 Pro. Although these cars don’t have the same quality or technology as Fownix products, they still have better features and quality than domestic products, and they also have better after-sales service.

Should we wait for any special news from the automotive industry and your company?

Of course, the fact that our company is going to export Opel is highly important. Everyone has a positive view on this brand because it has a history of making high-quality cars. Since the cars will be imported and assembled here, the quality of assembled cars will defi nitely improve and fuel consumption will decrease.

Tigo 8 Pro is the newest generation of Chinese cars in the Iranian market. What other features could be added to make it even more appealing to Iranian consumers?

Volvo has an automatic parking system that none of our current products have. This system is very secure and even if you hit a pedestrian, an airbag will open to protect them. The system also senses the driver’s driving mode and can monitor their heart rate to warn them if they are about to do something dangerous. This car is so safe that I drove a Volvo V40 R Design, for a while and it was very easy to control. I was able to take corners at 150 km/h that I thought were only possible at 70 km/h.

Although our cars do not have the same safety features as Volvo, our braking systems have been improved and now include all the latest braking technologies.

As a young manager in the Iranian automotive industry, I believe that the shift towards electric cars is a necessary step towards progress. Please elaborate your idea.

While I understand that some people may miss the driving pleasure of old cars, I believe that the benefi ts of electric cars, such as their environmental impact and fuel effi ciency, outweigh the drawbacks are growing.

Do you like to go towards technology and electric motors and distance yourself from fossil fuels or keep it in a consolidated way? What is your general opinion about this matter?

That was a thought-provoking question. Since I’ve driven both, I’d choose an electric car for my daily commute, but a naturally aspirated V8 engine car for my vacation.

What are your thoughts about the social behavior of the buyers?

Due to the high fuel prices in Iran, many people are buying the X22 Pro three-cylinder car because it consumes less fuel. They know that this will save them money in the long run, especially considering the recent increases in transportation costs.

While this may not be their ideal choice, it is a reasonable decision; given the circumstances.