Tofaş, a joint venture of Turkey's Koç Holding and Italy's Fiat Chrysler, has showcased the hatchback model of the Fiat Egea, which was chosen as the Car of the Year in Europe. Science, Industry and Technology Minister Fikri Işık attended the launch where the Egea's hatchback and station wagon models were showcased.
Speaking ahead of the launch ceremony, Koç Holding CEO Ömer Koç said the new hatchback model will be exported to the United States under the Dodge brand as of May. Koç also said 1.3 million Egea cars will be produced by a $1 billion investment in Tofaş's facilities in Bursa by 2023. Stressing that global production has shifted away from developed countries to developing ones, Koç said Koç Holding invested TL 1.3 billion ($458.1 million) in research and development (R&D) activities in 2015. According to Koç, the Koç group conducts 13 percent of Turkey's total R&D activities with its 4,000 engineers and employees. Also, 650 employees work in Tofaş facilities where all production bands have been renewed thanks to a TL 5 billion investment. Currently, six different models are being produced with the 4.0 technology in the Bursa facilities. "The fact that more Egea sedan models were sold than expected in the European market and that it will be exported to the U.S. as of next month shows how correct our investment decision was," Koç said.
Fiat Egea was first showcased in the Geneva Motor Show in early March. Tofaş Automobile Factory CEO Cengiz Eroğlu said the company aims to produce more than 100,000 cars in 2016, adding that 90 percent of the Egea model cars to be produced will be exported. Tofaş made great progress in automotive development, and 70 percent of Egeas will be designed by domestic engineers. He stressed that the Bursa facilities have become the most important R&D center of Fiat Chrysler in Europe with its 600 R&D staff. According to Eroğlu, Tofaş allocates 3 percent of its turnover to R&D activities. Moreover, Tofaş's R&D center has obtained patents for 350 systems that it developed.
The hatchback model, which has almost the same design features as the sedan model apart from the C-pillar, is 4,370 millimeters long, 1,790 millimeters wide and 1,500 millimeters high. The Egea also has a station wagon model that was launched alongside the hatchback version and is 200 millimeters longer. Their storage capacity is 420 liters and 520 liters, respectively. The storage capacity can be expanded thanks to the car's reclining rear seat mechanism. The Egea cars are available with two diesel (1.3 liter/94 horsepower, 1.6 liter/118 horsepower) and three gasoline (1.4 liter/94 horsepower, 1.6 liter/108 horsepower and a turbocharged 1.4 liter/118 horsepower) engine options, as well as five-speed manual, six-speed manual and six-speed automatic transmission alternatives.