German carmaker Volkswagen is nearing a decision concerning building a new plant in Turkey, a board member told reporters in Berlin yesterday.
"We are in final talks with Turkey," said Andreas Tostmann, board member in charge of production, adding he expected the talks to be completed in two weeks, "perhaps earlier."
Giving more details on the plans, sources close to the company said the multi-brand factory would cost more than 1 billion euros ($1.09 billion).
Sources said the plant would likely produce 300,000 cars a year, the VW Passat and near identical Skoda Superb models, for export to Eastern Europe. It would employ near 4,000 in Manisa near İzmir in western Anatolia and construction could start at the end of 2020 with production starting in 2022, they said.
In November 2018, the carmaker announced its intentions to build a new industrial factory in Eastern Europe. As time goes on, multiple rumors on who will host VW's new plant have hit the headlines. Initially the company's list of potential hosts included five countries, but the list has since narrowed the choice down to Turkey and Bulgaria as the most likely locations.
Multiple reports have since said that VW is planning to build a multi-brand production plant in Turkey. On the other hand, officials from the German carmaker have been paying visits and holding talks in the two candidate countries over the past months. Turkey is said to have a high chance of being chosen in terms of the factors that direct the industry investment in an automotive brand, such as qualified human resources, sub-industry capacity, logistics solutions, total market size and export opportunities to neighboring countries. Earlier, the German group also agreed with America's Ford to produce light commercial vehicles at Turkey's Ford Otosan plants.