Turkey's domestic car profile to be announced soon

DAILY SABAH WITH AA
ISTANBUL
Published

Tuncay Özilhan, the chairman of a leading automotive supply firm Anadolu Group, said on Thursday that related committees on Turkey's first domestically produced car have been established and that they would make a statement about the profile of the car within a few months.

Özilhan noted that studies on the domestic car are going well, adding that the five partners - Anadolu Group, BMC, Kıraça Holding, Turkcell and Vestel - are devotedly working on the project in accordance with their specialties.

Accordingly, the vehicle's software will be undertaken by Turkcell, electronic components will be provided by Vestel, production will be undertaken by BMC, while the Anadolu Group will be in charge of sales and marketing and Kıraça Holding will be responsible for designing and engineering.

The domestic car, which will have a battery that can be filled in five to six hours, will have a battery cost of TL 2 ($0.53) per 100 kilometers. The vehicle is also planned to have an autopilot feature.

Touching on Operation Olive Branch that Turkey has initiated for its border security in Afrin, Özilhan stressed that Turkey has applied a correct policy and diplomacy.

"It has made a major move in an arena where the giants are struggling. This move will bring peace to the region. We are standing by our state and supporting it," he said.

Özilhan expressed that he does not think the operation will have a major impact on the economy, noting there has been a relief in the exchange rates and stock market and self-confidence in the market.

"Turkey is implementing what it faithfully reiterates on all occasions. And it can still make investments against all odds. We will continue to invest. There is no change in our future strategies. I have never heard any foreigners having losses in Turkey," the Anadolu Group chairman added.

Referring to inflation as the "devil of growth," he explained that interest rates will fall and a sustainable environment will be created when the problem of inflation is resolved.

He underlined that incentives provided for home appliances, furniture, construction and automotive sectors triggered growth in 2017. Özilhan added that he predicts similar incentives will continue in the same areas this year.

Estimating that Turkey will grow by at least 5 percent in 2018, Özilhan said the problems with Russia were resolved quickly and that they were expecting steps to be taken on the visa issue.

In early November last year, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan announced that a consortium of Anadolu Group, BMC, Kıraça Holding, Turkcell and Zorlu Holding would produce Turkey's first domestically made car.

The initiative came after repeated calls from the president for a joint venture car project by Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges (TOBB) and the Science, Industry and Technology Ministry.

Erdoğan said that the initiative group of Turkey's automobile will decide on the class, design, engine technology, model, production method and market targets for the car.

He said that they could also lean toward producing hybrid and electric cars, indicating that regardless of the decision, they will provide all kinds of support as long as the Turkish nation is adequately equipped to realize its dream.

Erdoğan also said officials expect the prototype of the car to be ready in 2019, adding that they expect sales to begin in 2021.

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