Foreign automakers to invest more in Turkey

Foreign automakers to invest more in Turkey

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Foreign automakers to invest more in Turkey


Many foreign auto manufacturers, like U.S. Ford and Japanese Mazda, Nissan and Toyota are increasing their investments in the Turkish market in 2012 despite the global economic volatility.

U.S. auto giant Ford plans to invest $1 billion in its Turkish facilities in 2012 said Science, Industry and Technology Minister Nihat Ergün in an interview with daily Sabah. In addition to Ford, Ergün said Japanese Toyota and Nissan also had Turkish investments in the pipeline.

“There will probably be investments in new models,” said Ergün, most likely to include light-weight vehicle models similar to plans for the new generation Toyota Corolla.

Mazda, another Japanese auto maker, plans to boost its offerings in Turkey by focusing on new motor technology. Mazda has been relatively quiet in Turkey over the past five to six years according to daily Hürriyet. Now, however, the company has plans to revamp its technology and bring forth a new era in auto production, said Nurkan Yurdakul, managing director at Mazda Motor Turkey.

“We plan to introduce our new technology Mazda CX-5 to the Turkish market as soon as this April,” Yurdakul told Hürriyet. “After this model we will launch our two liter diesel motor Mazda6 that uses our Skyactiv technology at the end of 2012.”

The largest leap will be with the Skyactiv motor Mazda3, which will come to the Turkish market in 2013. The Mazda3 will have a 1.3 liter diesel engine, which will be capable of using only 3.3 liters of gas per 100 km.

“We plan to boost Mazda sales from the current 2,200 vehicles per year to a minimum of 10,000 per year. Turkey will become the hub of Mazda sales to Europe,” added Yurdakul.

Mazda currently has 30 distribution centers in Turkey, but only 12 of these are active. The company plans to increase this number.

Despite ambitious investment plans, 2012 could be a rough year for auto makers, especially those on the European continent. French car makers like PSA Peugeot Citroen and Renault expect a lull in sales. Such stagnation could also affect auto producers’ plans for the Turkish market.

Meanwhile, there has been a drop in second hand auto sales in Turkey with all the attractive yearend sales and offers. Mersin’s Auto Salesmen Foundation Head (MODER) Hüseyin Kış said he thinks there will be a pick-up in second-hand auto sales after the New Year.

“With the New Year, many of the special offers and promotions will come to an end and there are always more second-hand auto sales in the summer,” he said. He did, however, say the overall trend showed that customers prefer to buy brand new cars due to their safety and lack of maintenance costs.