Ford Otosan opens new factory in Turkey

Ford Otosan opens new factory in Turkey

Ford Otosan opens new factory in Turkey

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan signs a Ford vehicle to mark inauguration of Ford Otosan’s Yeniköy plant, with Rahmi Koç by his side. AA photo

The inauguration of Ford Otosan’s $670-million Yeniköy plant in the northwestern province of Kocaeli has been marked with a fanfare ceremony attended by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Ford Chairman Bill Ford.

The Turkey-based automaker, in which Ford Motor Company and Koç Holding have equal stakes, celebrated the opening of its third facility in the country, amounting to a total investment of 487 million euros ($670 million).

Koç family members, including Koç Holding Honorary Chairman Rahmi Koç, Koç Holding Chairman and Ford Otosan Chairman Ali Koç, accompanied Erdoğan and Ford.

Speaking at the ceremony, Erdoğan praised Ford Otosan “for making remarkable contributions” to the Turkish economy, expressing his expectation for the company to mark new accomplishments in the future as well.

He also reiterated his urge for the production of a local car and asked for the attempt’s critics to back off, in reference to Mustafa Koç’s remarks that dubbed local car production a “commercial suicide.”

“Some objections regarding the local car brand have been expressed. We need to get rid of these,” Erdoğan said on May 22.

The government had harshly criticized Koç last year for being skeptical of the efforts.
“Turkey dreams of developing its brand,” he said, asserting the government has been doing what befalls it and expects the private sector to ramp up efforts.

The prime minister also pledged to raise research and development incentives for projects over $1 billion.

In his speech, Ali Koç said Koç family is committed to the government’s 2023 goals, putting emphasis on the cooperation of the state and the private sector for its achievement.

Ford, meanwhile, used his speech to laud his company’s ties with the Koç family, saying they “also are investing in friendship in Turkey.”

The Courier, Ford’s newest light commercial vehicle that was developed by Turkish engineers, has been brought to the stage after speeches from top guests, creating a rare and special photo opportunity.

The group took a short tour around the factory with the Courier, with Ford driving the vehicle, Erdoğan in the passenger seat and Koç family members sitting at the back.