ISTANBUL - Hürriyet
Honda is preparing to begin manufacturing motorcycles in Turkey again, says Honda Turkey’s General Manager Yamasaki. Hürriyet photo
Japanese Honda, which has produced only 50,000 vehicles in Turkey - compared to Renault’s 400,000 and Toyota and Hyundai’s 200,000 - has found that the solution lies in shifting its focus to motorcycle manufacturing.
Honda is preparing to begin manufacturing motorcycles in Turkey again, after having shut down its 3,000-motorcycle capacity production plant in Istanbul’s Kartal neighborhood back in 2002, Honda Turkey’s General Manager Hideto Yamasaki said. Honda now plans to double its motorcycle production in Turkey, Yamasaki said.
“If we decide to manufacture motorcycles, our capacity has to be for a minimum 100,000, but our goal should be 200,000,” Yamasaki said. Motorcycle production requires one-third of the investment required for automobile production. According to Yamasaki, a 200,000 capacity production plant would require a 100-200 million euro investment. With a bit of fine tuning, Honda’s Gebze plant near Istanbul could be used for motorcycle production, Yamasaki said.
“Even if we begin in this way, our ultimate goal is to move production to different regions within the scope of the Turkish government’s new incentive scheme. In this way we will also be able to contribute to the economic development of the region,” Yamasaki said, stressing that the goal was to produce affordable motorcycles that would appeal to a wide consumer base in Turkey.
Yamasaski also believes that motorcycle production would ease traffic in Turkey and lower Turkey’s dependence on oil imports, because motorcycles require less gasoline. This, in turn, would help ease the current account deficit, according to Yamasaki.