Investment in first indigenous car amounts to $3 billion: Minister Özlü
The launch of Turkey’s first indigenous car, which will amount to a total investment of $3 billion, may take place at the International Motor Show (IAA) in Frankfurt in September 2019, according to a statement by Science, Industry and Technology Minister Faruk Özlü on March 25.
“Technical and financial studies are about to be finalized. A C-segment, meaning compact or medium car, is coming to the fore. We are planning to manufacture three models with five different bodies, namely sedan, hatchback, station wagon, sports and crossover. The investment value is estimated to be about $3 billion,” he said during an interview by Doğan TV Ankara representative Hakan Çelik on private broadcaster CNN Türk.
The prototype of the first domestically-produced car will be presented in 2019 and will most likely be launched during the IAA, which is going to be organized in September 2019, according to his remarks.
Three candidates for top executive post
Turkey launched a joint venture with five local industrial giants, Anadolu Group, BMC, Kıraça Holding, Turkcell and Zorlu Holding, to produce its first indigenous car on Nov. 2, 2017.
“A CEO will be appointed to the new company. There are three candidates so far. All of them are internationally successful individuals. The work on this issue is in progress. Electing and announcing the CEO will be done by the joint venture. We hope the company will be founded in April ” Özlü said.
Electric car with 500 km range
The joint venture has been working on three electric vehicle models, according to a statement on Feb. 16.
“Range, charging time and charging stations are the main problems faced by all manufacturers, including us. Plans are also underway for charging stations. We have been projecting a [single charge] range of 400-500 kilometers for the indigenous car,” the minister said, pointing out that battery costs would decrease in upcoming years with advances in technology.
“First, we will try to deliver a product that is better than its counterparts. Second, we will be competitive in terms of price. We will use the advantage of being new. This way foreigners will show interest too,” he replied, when asked about the difference between the projected car and its competitors. According to Özlü, Turkish citizens have already been trying to place orders for the car.
The Turkish government has been working on various incentive and support schemes, such as covering some expenses for its design and R&D.