As Turkish people eagerly wait for the first domestically produced car to finally roll off the assembly line, works and preparations on the project continue at full speed. A prototype of an SUV, the first vehicle that will be available for sale, will be unveiled in December according to Gürcan Karakaş, the CEO of Turkey's Automobile Joint Venture Group (TOGG) formed by the five largest Turkish industrialists that will develop the country's first domestically manufactured automobile.
The indigenous automobile will be ready for mass production by 2022, with exports expected to begin two years later, Karakaş said in a meeting with the Association of Automotive Parts and Components Manufacturers (TAYSAD) in the northwestern province of Bursa, dubbed Turkey's automotive capital.
In November 2017, Turkey rolled up its sleeves to design and manufacture its first indigenous automobile in a joint venture formed by the largest Turkish industrialists, all experienced in their own areas of operation. Five domestic firms - Anadolu Group, BMC, Kök Group, Türkcell and Zorlu Holding - with 19 percent shares each, and the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB) with 5 percent of the share will lead the joint venture TOGG.
Karakaş said TOGG aims to manufacture a smart electric vehicle whose technology and brand belongs to Turkey and is capable of competing in the international arena and that they also seek to establish an infrastructure for a mobility ecosystem. A 48-month program has been created, according to Karakaş.
"The vehicle, whose prototype we will unveil in December, will be an electric SUV. There will be four to five different vehicles in the aftermath. We have determined the 950 features that a vehicle should have. In 2022, the vehicle will be ready for mass production. After two years, we aim to become an exporter. We have started meetings with 62 member companies of TAYSAD. These include the companies with which we are in the pre-negotiation stage, as well as the companies we have signed agreements with. We will bring together product development, production, sales-marketing, service and startups in the manufacturing campus that we will announce in the coming weeks," he was cited as saying.
Karakaş also remarked that the project will contribute TL 50 billion to the gross domestic product (GDP), TL 7 billion to the current account deficit and add around 20,000 jobs direct or indirect employment. The domestically manufactured automobile initiative came after repeated calls from President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan for a joint car project by the TOBB and the Science, Industry and Technology Ministry.
Turkey attempted to produce its first domestically produced car in 1961 - the Devrim (Revolution) was unsuccessful after production and was halted following the first prototypes.