Amid many rumors over recent months, it has been reported that German automotive giant Volkswagen (VW) will decide where to build its new plant at the end of November, with Turkey and Bulgaria standing out as the two strongest candidates for the company to invest in.
According to the information obtained by the German news agency Deutsche Presse-Agentur (dpa), the decision is yet to be made as the issue will be discussed at the VW supervisory board meeting at the end of April and the final decision will be made at the supervisory board meeting in November.
Deutsche Welle (DW) Turkish revealed that personnel expenses in both countries are lower compared to those in Germany, pointing out that the result of the race between the two countries is clear. VW has made no disclosure on the billions of euros worth of investment.
Meanwhile, speaking to automobile industry magazine Automobilwoche, Alper Kanca, Chairman of the Automotive Suppliers Association of Turkey (TAYSAD), said that the Turkish public does not want VW to see Turkey as a sales market alone, and expects it to carry out production in the country. Recalling that VW sold 120,000 vehicles in Turkey last year alone, Kanca said that the company should give a positive signal taking into consideration Turkish-German relations. Kanca added that the investment to be made in Turkey will be an important instrument in this regard.
It is estimated that Turkey has a high chance to be chosen in terms of its current qualified workers and distribution structure. In addition, in mid-January, VW had agreed to produce minibuses at Ford factories in Turkey. Bulgaria, which is one of the options for the German automaker, hopes that the new plant will be opened in the country. According to dpa, a delegation from the VW examined the Bulgarian capital of Sofia ahead of German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier's visit to the city in early April. Conditions in the country where the investment is planned will be effective in VW's decision.
Last November, VW announced that it would make an investment of 44 billion euros ($49.8 billion) in electric vehicles, autonomous driving and digital technologies for the next five years, disclosing that about 30 billion euros of this investment would be allocated for the development of electric vehicles. The company had also revealed that Skoda Karoq and Seat Ateca model vehicles under VW will be produced in the new factory planned to be opened in Eastern Europe.