A partnership agreement to create Turkey's first indigenous car brand was signed on May 31, according to a statement from partner companies on Saturday.
The manufacturing company was named Turkey's Automobile Initiative Group.
Five local firms - Anadolu Group, BMC, Kök Group, Turkcell, and Zorlu Holding with 19 percent of shares each - and the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB) with 5 percent of shares will jointly lead the firm.
Mehmet Gürcan Karakaş, one of the top global executives in technology giant Bosch and a successful Turkish manager in the global automotive market, was appointed as the CEO.
His appointment was announced by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan late on Friday during an interview with a television station.In his first statement after the announcement, Karakaş said that he has been actively involved in the field of automotive technology over the past 12 years.
"I was born in Turkey, grew up here, went to college in this country, and took my first step into business life in Turkey," he said. "With this project, I am happy to have the opportunity to transfer my knowledge and experience in the global market to my country. Rest assured, Turkey will produce a competitive brand in the global market."
He also remarked that strategically the project has great importance for Turkey because it is in the field of advanced technology and due to the macroeconomic necessity, adding that it is the right project.
"The development in the technology will transform the classic car into a mobility ecosystem," he added.
"When we combine the high motivation and determination in our project with the use of the great potential in the country, I am sure that we will have a say in the global market. I was born and grew up in Turkey, I studied in this country. I stepped into business life in Turkey. I am very happy that with this project, I have the opportunity to transfer my knowledge and experience I have gained in the global market to my country. Be sure that Turkey will manufacture much more than just a car that can compete in the global environment," he said.
Science, Industry, and Technology Minister Faruk Özlü said the new project was a technological breakthrough for the country.
"As the government and ministry, we will provide the necessary support, especially in research and development, design and production operations, and make the necessary arrangements for the establishment of infrastructure for electric vehicles in Turkey," Özlü said.
The initiative came after repeated calls from President Erdoğan for a joint car project by TOBB and the Science, Industry and Technology Ministry.
Last November, President Erdoğan announced that the prototype of the first domestically produced car - expected to be produced in Ankara - would be ready in 2019 and enter the market in 2021.
"I want to own the first automobile, provided that I will pay for it. No one should hesitate. We will produce Turkey's car with the best design and technology, both for our country and the world," Erdoğan said in November.
The president praised efforts to ensure that the mass production of the first indigenous automobile would be either electric or hybrid.
Turkey attempted to produce its first domestically produced car in 1961, the Devrim (Revolution), which was unsuccessful after production and was halted following the first prototypes.
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