Turkey sets up firm for 'indigenous car'

Turkey sets up firm for 'indigenous car'

Turkey sets up firm for indigenous car

Mehmet Gürcan Karakaş (file photo)

The joint venture to produce Turkey's first domestically-produced car established a company and hired Mehmet Gürcan Karakaş, a former manager at Bosch, as its chief executive, semi-official Anadolu Agency reported on June 2.

According to the report, five local firms — Anadolu Group, BMC, Kıraça Holding, Turkcell, and Zorlu Holding — launched the firm that they named as the "Joint Venture for Turkey's Car Industry and Commerce Co." (Türkiye'nin Otomobili Girişim Grubu Sanayi ve Ticaret AŞ).

Each of the five firms has 19% shares in the new company. The Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB) joined the venture by holding five percent of the shares.

Karakaş will start his role as CEO in the new company on Sept. 1, as decided by the partners on the deal signed on May 31.

Turkey launched a joint venture to produce its "indigenous car" in November last year. The prototype of the vehicle is expected to be completed next year and mass production will start in 2020 or 2021. The total investment in the indigenous car project is estimated at $3 billion.

“I want to own the first such automobile and I will pay for it,” Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan had said during the launch of the joint venture last year, adding that he would prefer a hybrid or an electric car option. He had also discussed possible cooperation with Tesla chief executive Elon Musk in Ankara on Nov. 8.

Although Turkey does not have a domestic car brand, it is a major producer for industry giants, with Europe being the top market for cars produced in the country.