The number of companies producing hybrid cars in Turkey is increasing to three, with Oyak Renault and Ford Otosan following Toyota in making hybrid vehicles. Thus, Turkey will be one of the few countries in the world that produce hybrid vehicles.
Toyota produced the first hybrid vehicle in Turkey at the end of 2016. Ford Otosan will also produce hybrid cars after Oyak Renault, which received an investment incentive for hybrid car production in 2017. The company plans to launch the Ford Transit Custom's Plug-in Hybrid (PHEV) version produced at its Gölcük facilities in the last quarter of 2018.
The hybrid model, which will be produced primarily for export purposes, is expected to be launched in 2019. Thus, Ford Otosan will contribute to American automotive giant Ford's hybrid and electric vehicle project. Ford aims to develop 40 hybrid and electric vehicles with an investment of $4.5 billion by 2022.
Meanwhile, 20 prototypes of Transit Custom PHEV have been successfully tested in the U.K. The prototypes have been tested in London since early 2017.
French automotive giant Renault is preparing to make Turkey a hybrid vehicle base. The first hybrid engine of the French brand will be produced at the Bursa Oyak Renault factories. The hybrid engine will be used in the fifth generation of Clio produced in Bursa. Oyak Renault received a TL 493 million ($102 million) incentive for hybrid car investments under the Project Based Incentive System.
Toyota began producing Turkey's first SUV and hybrid model C-HR with an investment of 350 million euros at the end of 2016, almost doubling its production and exports. The company's vehicle production soared to 280,000 in 2017 up from 154,000 in 2016, marking an 81 percent rise. Moreover, its exports increased to 244,000 units from 116,000 units, with a 110 percent upsurge. While Toyota aims to produce 280,000 vehicles in 2018, it will export 244,000 of them. The company exported 101,000 vehicles in the first five months of the year.
A total of 227,200 hybrid cars were sold in Europe from January 2018 to May 2018. While hybrid vehicle sales soared by 22 percent, their market share rose to 3.3 percent. The country with the greatest number of hybrid vehicles sold in the first five months of the year was France with 35,000 units. France was followed by Italy with 34,000 cars, the U.K. with 33,000 cars, Spain with 28,000 cars and Germany with 23,000 cars. Working three shifts a day in order to keep pace with orders in Europe, Toyota Turkey plans to increase hybrid car production. In 2017, the company produced a total of 186,000 C-HRs, of which 100,000 were hybrids. The Japanese brand aims to produce 142,000 hybrid cars and a total of 196,000 C-HRs in 2018. Toyota has been exporting its C-HR model, produced in Sakarya, to 84 countries. The company, which exported 180,000 C-HRs in 2017, plans to increase this figure to over 190,000 by the end of 2018. C-HR, produced by Toyota in the Sakarya factory, became the best-selling hybrid car in Europe with 9,853 units in April and maintained this title in May, too. C-HR sales reached 10,547, exceeding the Toyota Yaris model. Thus, total C-HR sales in the first five months of the year rose to 49,351, reducing the discrepancy with Yaris sales to 1,147 units.