Koç Group paves the way for domestic car with Fiat
ISTANBULThe Koç Group is getting ready to produce a domestically made car as part of the government’s and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s 2023 target, “Turkish auto project.”
However, the new domestic car will be produced in cooperation with Fiat, according to Ali Pandir, chair of Koç’s Tofaş, which produces several models of the Italian firm in Turkey.
The new Turkish model will replace the current Albea model, which will go out of production, Pandir told the Hürriyet newspaper.
“The fact that we are putting an end to the production of Albea will be a huge opportunity for Fiat as the Albea segment is very strong,” said Pandir. He added that the new automobile would not compete with other existing Fiat models.
Pandir also hinted that there could be more than one version of the new domestic automobile.
Sergio Marchionne, chair of Fiat and Chrysler Chair also made a similar announcement at the Detroit auto show. “I think this move on the part of the Turkish government is the right one. I had mentioned before that strategically I was interested in this project. Our talks with Koç and the Turkish government are continuing. We will come up with a concrete road map as soon as possible.”
The Tofaş facility in Turkey’s Bursa currently has the capacity to produce 400,000 automobiles. This number will be upped to 550,000 with the new investment.
The Koç Group currently accounts for more than 50 percent of Turkey’s auto production.