The German car manufacturer Volkswagen's long-awaited decision for a new plant in Turkey finally rendered the first concrete step last week with the establishment of the Volkswagen Turkey company, registered in Manisa where the factory will be located. A couple of days later, another investment by Volkswagen subsidiary MAN has also been finalized as the new plant location was announced by Industry and Technology Minister Mustafa Varank late Friday. "Volkswagen Group's subsidiary MAN Turkey Inc.'s place in Ankara's Akyurt district was declared as an individual investment area. With the new investment of TL 452 million to be made here, 700 jobs will be provided," Varank said in an address at the reception held by the Germany Embassy in Ankara late Friday.
MAN began operations in Turkey in 1966 via the MANAŞ (MAN Kamyon ve Otobüs Sanayi) partnership, which was established between the Ercanlar Company and MAN Truck & Bus. The plant in Istanbul was MAN's first production plant outside of Germany. 1967 saw the first trucks rolling off the line, with buses following in 1968. The first exports of MAN vehicles from Turkey was in 1981 to countries in the Middle East, including Egypt, Kuwait, Syria and Lebanon.
In the 1980s, the company established the MAN Engine factory in Ankara, which in addition to engines, also began producing buses in 1985.
MAN Truck & Bus acquired complete administrative and industrial management of MANAŞ in 1995, and the engine factory was purchased in 1996. All bus production was transferred from Istanbul to Ankara, and all production facilities were incorporated in Ankara under the new name MAN Türkiye (MAN Turkey).
At its manufacturing site in Akyurt, the company produces city buses, coaches as well as intercity coaches of the MAN and NEOPLAN brands on a site with a total area of 317,000 square meters and is MAN´s biggest bus production
"I believe that this acceleration will continue in the coming period. We will see that the Turkish-German Energy Forum and the Turkish-German Joint Economic and Trade Commission (JETCO) meetings in Berlin will bring out concrete results," he continued.
Minister Varank expressed Turkey's willingness for continued cooperation with Germany cooperation based on equal partnership and mutual respect on all bilateral issues, saying mutual efforts would play a role in strengthening the Turkish-German friendship.
The minister also stated that they established the German Desk to solve the problems faced by German industrialists and investors operating in Turkey and to realize their proposals, underlining that the Turkish desk formed under the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy is a concrete sign of the importance given to cooperation.
VW investment in Turkey to encourage foreign firms
German automotive giant Volkswagen's major investment in Turkey would encourage other big foreign companies to invest in the country, Istanbul Chamber of Commerce (İTO) President Şekib Avdagiç said on Sunday.
Volkswagen has established a subsidiary in Turkey last week, with plans to build a multi-brand production plant in the western Manisa province.
"Volkswagen's investment in Turkey is itself a very significant development. This would boost further foreign investment in the country," Avdagiç told Anadolu Agency (AA) in an exclusive interview.
"Turkey has become a production hub of global firms for international markets thanks to its skilled labor force and a dynamic investment environment," he said.
Volkswagen Turkey Otomotiv Sanayi ve Ticaret was established last week with capital of TL 943.5 million, according to the Turkish Trade Registry Gazette. The company was founded to design, produce, assemble, sell, import and export automobiles, trucks and all sorts of motor and transport vehicles and their parts and components.
The German carmaker is expected to invest more than 1 billion euros (approximately $1.1 billion) for the factory and start production in 2022. The Volkswagen Group, established in 1937, is the owner of several vehicle brands, including Audi, Seat, Skoda, Lamborghini, Porsche, Bentley, Man, Ducati, and Scania. Other prominent auto manufacturers – including Fiat, Ford, Hyundai, Mercedes, Renault, and Toyota – have manufacturing operations in Turkey.
Former Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev criticized German carmaker's decision to establish the plant in Turkey, instead of Bulgaria – the other candidate for the Volkswagen investments. In a statement to a local newspaper, Plevneliev stressed that that Bulgaria can impose a fine worth 400 million euros to 1 billion euros on Volkwagen on the grounds that the company does not take into consideration the market rules of the European Commission without specifying any further elaboration on the content or the nature of the rules.