Turkey’s car production plans advancing, targets 1.5 mln vehicle output: Minister

Turkey’s car production plans advancing, targets 1.5 mln vehicle output: Minister


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Turkey is making good progress on plans to produce a new domestic car model, Industry Minister Faruk Özlü said on Sept. 23, adding that the government was targeting annual output of 1.5 million vehicles for the entire sector this year.

The automotive industry in Turkey saw production rising by 16 percent to a record 1.359 million vehicles last year, but these vehicles are made by foreign companies, some in joint ventures with Turkish companies.

“We want a global auto brand, not a domestic car,” Özlü told journalists in Ankara, as quoted by Reuters. 

The Scientific and Technical Research Council of Turkey (TÜBİTAK) has been working on a domestic automobile based on the Saab 9-3 Platform, acquiring a license from carmaker NEVS worth 40 million euros for production of the vehicle. 

Özlü said Turkey’s current infrastructure is efficient enough to design and produce a vehicle, but the main point is how to introduce and market it. 

TÜBİTAK to be restructured

He also added that the TÜBİTAK’s structure will be revised in order to make it an institution to produce more technology and to create business for the private sector and universities. 

The European Union remains Turkey’s main market for car sales. Major producers in Turkey include Oyak Renault, a joint venture between France’s Renault and Tofaş, a partnership between Turkey’s Koç Holding and Fiat Chrysler, and Ford Otosan. 

Automotive production in the country rose by 1 percent year-on-year in August 2016, data from the Automotive Manufacturers Association showed in early September.

A total of 78,087 vehicles were produced in August, up from 76,977 a year earlier, the data showed.

Turkey’s automobile exports increased by 12.23 percent in the first eight months of 2016 year-on-year, according to data from the Turkish Exporter’s Assembly (TİM) compiled by the state-run Anadolu Agency in early September. 

Turkey’s car exports rose to $15.14 billion from January to August compared to $13.49 billion in the same period of 2015, according to TİM.      

Meanwhile, Industry Minister Özlü also vowed that the cabinet aims to ease red tape and “remove all obstacles before potential industrial investors” through a new legislative package soon to be announced.