Tofaş works on two new cars, eyes export to US
ISTANBUL - Reuters
Fiat Turkey Brand Director Okan Baş poses in front of a Fiat Doblo, the model that firm eyes to export.Turkish automaker Tofaş is working on two new passenger car projects for domestic and export markets which are expected to be on the market by the end of 2015, its chief executive said.
Tofaş, in which Italy’s Fiat and Turkish conglomerate Koc Holding each own 38 percent, is also working on a feasibility study on exporting its light commercial vehicle Doblo to North America at the end of 2014.
“We are working on a technical study of two passenger car projects,” Tofaş CEO Kamil Basaran told reporters on Feb. 8 in comments embargoed until yesterday.
“I can confirm one is a sedan car in the B segment. At the same time, we are working on a second car project. Hopefully we can make a statement before July and give detailed numbers for volumes.”
Tofaş will own the patent rights for both cars which are expected to be sold under the Fiat brand, he said.
Turkey’s automotive sector, the heart of its export industry, is trying to diversify its export markets as a sharp slowdown in key markets in Europe limits its growth prospects.
“Tofaş has completed its study for plant and research and development for Doblo exports to North America. We are planning to export the Doblo at the end of 2014. We can expect 20,000 units once we start,” Basaran said.
Tofaş is targeting total sales of 270,000 vehicles, 160,000 of them for export, and planning to invest 130 million euros in products, plants and R&D this year, he said.
The company expects a flat domestic market this year compared with 2012 with 750,000 vehicles and a 13-15 percent market share, said Fiat Turkey Brand Director Okan Baş said.