Turkey’s next generation auto sub-industry

Turkey’s next generation auto sub-industry

I visited three companies last week after a previous column I wrote saying the situation of the self-driving car industry was weak in Turkey compared to other countries. After visiting these three companies I changed my mind, my spirits went up and my soul was enlightened. 

In all three companies I came across extremely bright people highly focused on their jobs, working day and night and very humble indeed. While we are doing nothing but talking about politics and the pessimistic agenda, these people have their eyes on the future, trying to make their dreams come true. 

They monitor the world, especially other companies that operate in their fields, very closely, and spend a considerable amount of their time making presentations to investors abroad, trying to form better cooperation and create new markets for themselves by further developing their products. 

I felt like I had come to a sort of “parallel universe” or “parallel Turkey,” where the topics of the Turkey we know that belong to today and yesterday were almost never talked about. Only talks about the future, instead of empty words, and truly fulfilling real life debates are held; it was as if it was “the other Turkey.”

The first company I visited has been working on position-based technology and they have been concentrating their experience on the field of driver-support systems. They were developing products in the communication field for vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-main server for Fiat in Italy with the support of the European Union. 

The second company I visited was the Turkey R&D department of a giant American firm. This company is designing and producing microprocessors for cars, primarily for Mercedes. All the design work and software building is done in Turkey by Turkish engineers. 

The microprocessor controls certain sensors in the car including cameras and data communication. The company sold some 40 million of its control microprocessors, and that is only the beginning. The total market is estimated to be 800 million annually.

The third company I visited was actually one of the leading private companies in Turkey’s defense industry field. Certain fundamental systems of several drones are produced by this company for Aselsan. But this company wants to be present not only in the defense industry but also in civilian fields. They have already started selling systems to telecom and energy companies but alongside this they are entering the self-driving automobile business, and their entry is appropriate for their experience. 

On one hand, they have developed a super quick charger for an international car brand and on the other hand they are producing communication control systems. 

These high tech companies are Turkey’s new automobile sub-industry. I avoided writing any names here because these companies do not need any publicity in this way. What they do is so unique that it is enough for them just to present their products. 

What is pleasing is that, finally, Turkey has formed an “Electric car Working Group” within Istanbul Technical University (İTÜ) and there is a coordination of companies operating in this field. 

Their eyes are on the future.