Renault’s Turkish partner lashes out at Peugeot-Citroën’s Turkey remarks

Renault’s Turkish partner lashes out at Peugeot-Citroën’s Turkey remarks

Emre Özpeynirci PARIS
Renault’s Turkish partner lashes out at Peugeot-Citroën’s Turkey remarks

A hostess poses next to the Peugeot Quartz at the Paris Motor Show. Peugeot-Citroen group’s regional director has said the group is planning to invest more in Turkey. AP photo

The Peugeot-Citroën group’s recent financial problems have been caused by investment in the wrong countries, the Turkish partner for the group’s main French rival, Renault, has said, responding to suggestions that jihadists will present a problem to those who invested in Turkey.

“Look at us, look at Fiat. These brands didn’t hit the bottom thanks to Turkey. They overcame crises in Europe with Turkey. If Hyundai and Toyota are also increasing their production today, it’s because they see how important it is to make investment in Turkey,” said Celal Çağlar, the head of the automotive and cement business of Oyak, which is also Renault’s partner in Turkey.

“I wish you asked [Peugeot-Citroen Middle East and Africa Director Jean-Christophe] Quemard, ‘Why did you go bankrupt?’” Çağlar told a reporter when asked about Peugeot’s recent remarks about the ostensible difficulties of doing business in Turkey.

“What pushed the Peugeot-Citroen group to the verge of bankruptcy were their wrong choices. They went through hard times during the crisis because of the wrong investments and country choices. Therefore, the one who invests in Turkey always wins,” he said.

Speaking to daily Hürriyet on the sidelines of Paris Auto Show over the weekend, Quemard said the Middle East crisis triggered by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) was not affecting the French group.

“The ones that should think about these things are the brands that have factories in Turkey and other risky regions. For example our French rival [Renault],” Quemard said Oct. 4.

“We don’t have production in those regions, meaning Turkey, Iraq and Syria. Of course we are supporting a reduction in the escalated tension, but this doesn’t make us think as much as brands that have production there,” Quemard said.

The manager also said their priority destination for production in the region would be Morocco, not Turkey on the basis of “labor costs.”

Peugeot-Citroën has been losing money in recent years, and was recently bailed out by the French government and the Chinese firm Dongfeng.