Turkey to unveil prototype of first indigenous car in December
SERKAN DEMİRTAŞ - ANKARA
Turkey will launch the prototype of the country’s first indigenous electric car in December two years after a joint venture of five local industrial giants was established, Industry and Technology Minister Mustafa Varank has said, describing the move “revolutionary” for Turkey’s continued development efforts.
“We are hoping to introduce the moving prototype of Turkey’s first domestically-made car in December. It will mark an important achievement in our efforts to this end,” Varank said on a visit to Demirören Media Center on Sept. 13.
The prototype is an electric SUV, one of five different models to be produced by the joint venture. “Turkey will be the only country in our region that will be able to produce an electric SUV,” Varank stated.
Five suppliers - Anadolu Group, BMC, Kıraça Holding, Turkcell, and Zorlu Holding – have been engaged to jointly manufacture Turkey’s first indigenous car. The details about the electric cars and its brand will be announced at the ceremony to be held in December, the minister informed.
As a result of a $3 billion investment, Turkey is hoping to manufacture three models with five different bodies, namely sedan, hatchback, station wagon, sports and crossover. The mass production of the cars is set to begin in late 2022.
Varank said there was some delay in the implementation of the road map for Turkey’s indigenous car, stressing, “We want to expedite the process. Our president is also very keen to see the accomplishment of this manufacturing process. He is not happy of the extension of the process.”
A ‘revolution’ for Turkey
Varank stressed the importance of this project for Turkey’s development efforts, repeating President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s characterization of this industrial move as a revolution. “We see the manufacturing of Turkey’s first locally-made car as a very important project. It’s a revolution in terms of our industrial efforts,” he said. “Of course, it should be a sustainable and successful project.”
The state supports the manufacturing process, but it’s a commercial affair run by these five companies, Varank said. “The automotive industry is changing. It’s more about software than man-handling. Our initiative is very much consistent with our efforts to start a technology-concentrated industry move. It was the right time for us to manufacture the electric cars.”
New strategy for industry, technology
Varank informed that he will announce a new Industry and Technology Strategy on Sept. 18 in the Turkish capital, which will set Turkey’s road map for industrial development towards 2023, the centennial of the Turkish Republic.
“We will also publicize the Industry and Technology Strategy Document. It will set our goals and the titles we will coordinate our development efforts on,” he stressed.
Along with the strategy, a system for subsidies is also going to be amended by integrating different stimulus mechanisms under a single roof, the minister said.