Minister invites Volkswagen to invest in Turkey

Minister invites Volkswagen to invest in Turkey

ISTANBUL - Anatolia News Agency
Minister invites Volkswagen to invest in Turkey

Turkish Industry Minister Ergün (R) shakes hands with Winfreid Vahland, the chairman of Skoda, at a meeting on the sidelines of the Istanbul Autoshow. AA photo

Turkish Industry Minister Nihat Ergün has called on Volkswagen Group to produce cars in Turkey.

“We expect Volkswagen and Skoda group to take speedy steps to make a manufacturing-based investment in Turkey,” he said yesterday after his meeting with the Skoda Chairman Winfried Vahland.

The European automotive giant does not have a production facility in Turkey despite the fact that it is one of the best-selling groups in the country, he said.

Turkey has an automotive production capacity of 1.5 million, 1.2 million of which is currently being used, he said, adding that the near-term goal is to increase it to a production capacity of 4 million items.

The domestic market is also growing fast in the country, which has a lower automobile ownership rate than the world average, he said. Turkey needs new investments and car models to achieve an annual domestic sales volume of 2 million items in 10 years, he added.

“Some 75 percent of domestically produced cars are exported. Our country has big advantages in terms of getting into external markets thanks to its location,” he said.

Skoda sold more than 10,000 items in 2012, said Vahland, adding that the company has a priority target to double it in five years.

While expressing a desire to make a direct investment in Turkey, Vahland said adequate infrastructure and a particular level of domestic market volume would be required.

The company wants to access Asian and European markets via Turkey, he said.