TOGG strikes deals with int’l producers

TOGG strikes deals with int’l producers

Cem Özenen - ISTANBUL
TOGG strikes deals with int’l producers

A joint venture created to produce Turkey’s first indigenous car has struck a series of confidentiality deals with 10 international automotive manufacturers, the company’s CEO has told journalists.

“We have agreed to bring a global company with expertise in battery production to Turkey. We will do battery production completely in Turkey,” Gürcan Karakaş of Turkey’s Automobile Joint Venture Group (TOGG) said during an online press conference on Aug. 7. “We are also planning to do cell production locally as our production volume expands.”

As part of the international deals, TOGG will be able to manufacture for and procure parts and products from such global brands, according to Karakaş. “We can undertake the production of several products, including batteries, for other companies.”

The foundations for TOGG’s plant in the northwestern province of Bursa’s Gemlik district was laid on July 18. Following the construction of the factory in 18 months’ time, the first batch of cars are expected to exit the production line in the last quarter of 2022.

At present, over 90 percent of the supplier selection process has been concluded, said Karakaş.

“There is a limited number of brands in the world producing electric automobiles right off the bat. We are the sole unconventional electric car producer brand in Europe. That helps us in gaining the upper hand. We are not searching for suppliers; world-famous producers and suppliers apply to work with us. We have completed most of the supplier selection process. Some 78 percent of suppliers are companies in Turkey, and 22 percent are from Europe and Asia,” he said.

The rate of domestic production in the Turkish automotive sector varies between 19.6 percent and 66.3 percent, Karakaş said, adding that TOGG would start with an indigenous rate of 51 percent before ramping up to 66 percent within three years. “We are not only native, we are also national. We can make decisions independently from others.”

The company’s factory in Gemlik will have the capacity to produce 175,000 vehicles annually.

TOGG was established in 2018 under the leadership of the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB) by companies belonging to the Anadolu Group, BMC, Root Group, Turkcell and the Zorlu Group. By 2030, it plans to produce five different models: an SUV, a sedan, a c-hatchback, a b-SUV and a b-MPV. In addition, TOGG will also own the intellectual and industrial property rights for the vehicles.

Karakaş also noted TOGG’s cars would be exported to European countries like Germany, France and Italy in 2024, two years after the first batches go onto the domestic market.