Renault ‘natural partner’ in domestic auto bid, says exec

Renault ‘natural partner’ in domestic auto bid, says exec

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet
Renault ‘natural partner’ in domestic auto bid, says exec

Renault Twingo is on display March 7 at the Geneva Motor Show. Renault is ‘the most Turkish car brand,’ says a firm exec. ABACA photo

The Turkish prime minister’s call on the local automotive industry to produce the country’s first domestic car brand is being answered by French giant Renault following Italy’s Fiat.

“Renault is the ‘most Turkish [brand]’ among the automotive producers in Turkey,” said Renault Euromed President Jean-Christophe Kugler said on March 7 at the Geneva Motor Show. “We are not working as if we are producing in Turkey [as a French investor], but rather we are carrying out a Turkish production.”
If there is a desire to produce cars under a Turkish brand, “then Oyak Renault is a natural partner,” said Kugler.

Koç Group, a local conglomerate, expressed interest in January to produce a domestically made car with Fiat, its longtime partner in the automotive sector, as part of the “Turkish auto project.”
Kugler said Renault could realize a domestic auto project faster than rivals because the producer utilizes integrated technologies at its facilities in Turkey.

Renault cars produced in Turkey are 70 percent domestic, said Celal Çağlar, the president of the Automotive and Cement Group at Oyak, which is Renault’s partner company in Turkey.

“It will take at least two years to develop and produce a domestic car if you do not take on a very powerful company like Renault in the service of the project,” Çağlar said. Meanwhile, Hyundai Europe’s vice president, Allan Rushforth, said the South Korean conglomerate was not open to such cooperation. Hyundai has local car production facilities in a joint venture with Turkey’s Kibar Holding.