5 models planned for indigenous automobile, Turkish minister says

DAILY SABAH WITH AA
ISTANBUL
Published 08.04.2018 20:17
Updated 08.04.2018 20:19

Minister of Science, Industry and Technology Faruk Özlü said on Sunday that Turkey's first domestically produced car will enter the market with five different models.

Minister Özlü said that in order to reduce production costs, three of those models - namely a sedan, a sport utility vehicle (SUV), and a general-purpose vehicle - will use the same chassis and the vehicles will be produced in segments B (small cars) and C (medium cars).

He said that after Turkey's Automobile Project Joint Venture Group (OGG) Cooperation Protocol was signed at the Presidential Palace Complex with the participation of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, five OGG member companies accelerated their works to actualize the project.

He pointed out that last stage of technical and financial analysis and feasibility in the project has been reached. The minister also said the ministry is currently working on ways to support the project.

"In addition, a top executive will be assigned in accordance with the decision of Turkey's Automobile Project Joint Venture Group," Özlü said. "Many names have been discussed for this position, but now three names are being considered. Turkey's Automobile Project Joint Venture Group will assess the CEO and announce the name to their co-workers in-house."

Minister Özlü stressed that the person to be elected will be a Turkish citizen who has achieved global success in the automotive sector.

He explained that after the determination of the top executive, the process of incorporation will be completed, and that while the name of the company to be established is still unknown, it will be determined after the negotiations with communication companies.

Stressing that the project was developed with the aim of creating a national brand, Özlü said that the brand of the vehicle is as important as the technical issues.

"We aim for global success as a country in Turkey's automobile project. So, it will be a good name that will be accepted on a global scale," Özlü said.

He added that the name of the company will emerge after talks between Turkey's Automobile Joint Venture Project Group and communication firms.

Referring to the ongoing work regarding the determination of the equity ratio of five companies in Turkey's Automobile Joint Venture Project Group, Özlü said that at this point alternatives such as public sector's participation are being discussed.

He emphasized that they prefer to initially offer equal partnership to five companies in the OGG and the projects are continuing to be carried out on that principle.

Özlü said they have received demand from 22 provinces for the production site of the project, highlighting that the demands will be evaluated, and the most suitable province and region will be selected in this regard.

He noted that the project will contribute to the transformation of technology in Turkey as well as offer the country the opportunity to market its products at international markets. He said that the project is extremely important and strategic for this reason.

The minister remarked that there are a large number of citizens that are in line to be the first ones to purchase the vehicle, stressing that there is strong public support for the project.

Turkey's automobile project is scheduled to develop a prototype in 2019 and go into mass production at the end of 2021.

In early November of last year, the Turkish public saw the launch of a groundbreaking initiative to manufacture Turkey's first domestic automobile. This goal has brought together the country's largest manufacturers and companies in a consortium that includes Kıraça, Anadolu Group, Turkcell, Zorlu and BMC.

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

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