Turkey is geared to create a domestic car company and brand capable of competing on the global scale.
The CEO of the newly formed Automobile Initiative Group, Mehmet Gürcan Karakaş told the Anadolu Agency (AA) yesterday that group was ready to commence with a qualified team of specialists. Karakaş said that he had analyzed the financial and technical aspects of the indigenous car project.
"Our mission is to carry out a project of transforming technology with a qualified team of experts. We will give it its final shape after we begin work on Sept. 1," he said, pointing out that they are acting with a vision of creating a car brand that can compete with and have a say in the global market.
The partnership agreement to create Turkey's first locally produced car brand was signed on May 31, according to a statement from the partner companies on Saturday, and named Turkey's Automobile Initiative Group.
Five local firms with 19 percent shares each; Anadolu Group, BMC, Kök Group, Turkcell, and Zorlu Holding, along with the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB) with five percent shares, will jointly lead the firm.
Karakaş, one of the top global executives in technology giant Bosch, was officially appointed as the CEO of the new firm on Saturday.
His appointment was announced by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan late on Friday during an interview with a television station.
"The indigenous car project's shareholders' trust, commitment, and adaptation impressed me," said Karakaş.
He said as an engineer who has committed himself to the automotive industry he was excited to bring the experience he gained abroad to Turkey.
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 would enter the market by 2021.
"I want to own the first automobile (produced), 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 domestically produced automobile would be either electric or hybrid.
Turkey attempted to produce its first domestically produced car the Deverim (Revolution) in 1961, however the attempt was unsuccessful and production was halted following the first prototypes.
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