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BUSINESS > Turkey wins Clio production after Sarkozy’s presidency

Emre Özpeynirci ISTANBUL / Hürriyet

Renault will produce a new version of its Clio model at its Bursa plant in Turkey as former President Sarkozy is no longer an obstacle to the firm’s investment decisions

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Renault Chief Operating Officer Carlos Tavares poses near a new Clio model. Producing cars in Turkey is more cost-effective than in France, Tavares says. REUTERS photo

Renault Chief Operating Officer Carlos Tavares poses near a new Clio model. Producing cars in Turkey is more cost-effective than in France, Tavares says. REUTERS photo

French automotive giant Renault will produce the “Clio Sports Tourer,” the new station wagon version of the Clio along with Clio 4, another soon -to-be-launched car at its plant in the northwestern province of Bursa. Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy had long objected to this move despite a significant cost advantage over French plants.

Renault, which already produces the “Grand Tour,” the first station wagon version of the Clio, in Turkey, plans to exhibit prototypes of the Clio Sports Tourer along with the new Clio in September at the Paris Motor Show. Production of the Clio Sports Tourer will begin the same month under the code K98, sources said.

Changing direction

Renault had announced that the new generation Clio station wagon would not be produced in Turkey due to the objection of Sarkozy, who had strived to keep jobs at home at a time of deepening economic crisis and a looming presidential election, which he lost to Socialist François Hollande in the spring. But Renault came up with a solution to produce the new Clio at its plants both in Flins, France and Bursa, while announcing that the production of the “Grand Tour” in Turkey would be stopped.

“[The new generation] Clio 4 will be produced in Flins and Turkey. The production of [the] Clio Grand Tour in Turkey will be ended,” Jacques Chauvet of Oyak Renault and Reanult Mais, the company’s partners in Turkey, said. Renault started producing the new Clio in June with 200 million euros of additional investment in the Bursa plant. The cost advantage of the Bursa plant came into play again once Sarkozy lost power, leading to the decision to produce the Sports Tourer in Turkey. Producing cars at the Bursa plant is 1,300 euros cheaper than in France.

Carlos Tavares, the chief operating officer for Renault, has said producing the Clio 4 in Turkey would bring 208 million euros of savings per year based on the 1,300-euro cost advantage, which equals the amount of investment made to produce the Clio 4.

Renault plans to produce 160,000 Clios, 40,000 of which will be Sports Tourers.

Ford Otosan to showcase new models

ISTANBUL – Hürriyet Daily News

Ford Otosan will exhibit its three new commercial vehicle models in September at a commercial vehicle show in Germany’s Hannover, Hürriyet reported yesterday. The automotive company announced in 2011 that it would make a $3 billion investment in three years.

The company has completed prototypes of Tourneo Custom and Transit Custom models, a minibus and a van. The third commercial vehicle will be the biggest version of the Transit model, the production of which is slated to start as of August 2013.

The company is also expected to reveal a small commercial vehicle to rival Minicargo, which Tofaş manufactures for Peugeot, Citroen and Fiat. Tofaş’ annual production capacity will exceed 400,000 at a new plant, which will start producing the small commercial vehicle as of the end of 2013.

American automotive giant General Motors (GM) has developed a new Opel Astra model due to immense demand from Turkish and Russian markets, general manager of Opel Turkey Özcan Keklik said, according to daily Radikal. GM had previously decided to stop producing new Astra models, but the new Astra will go on sale in August.


July/31/2012

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