Toyota's all-new Corolla made its debut on Monday, rolling off the assembly line at the Japanese car maker's plant in Sakarya, Turkey.
Speaking in a ceremony at the northwestern Sakarya plant, Toyota Board Chairman Takeshi Uchiyamada said he was happy that the all-new Corolla will be produced in Turkey with a 150 million euro investment.
Turkish Minister of Economy Zafer Çağlayan and Minister of Science, Industry & Technology Nihat Ergun as well as Toyota Motor Manufacturing Turkey CEO Orhan Ozer were also present at the ceremony.
Uchiyamada said that Turkey's dynamism and vitality impressed him very much and added, "I felt that during my very first visit here. I think this country will play an important role in world economy."
"Toyota Turkey produced its first car 20 years ago. This factory continues to produce high quality vehicles. At the moment, Toyota Turkey produces 1.3 million vehicles in Turkey," he said.
Uchiyamada said that they decided to produce the new Corolla in Turkey, because they believed that Toyota Turkey will grow.
"The new Corolla, which has been reborn with styling that is more refined and more luxurious, is the new global symbol for our efforts to make better cars. I am very proud that the European version of the new Corolla will call Sakarya its home. Let's continue to write the Corolla's history".
Also speaking at the ceremony, Turkish Economy Minister Zafer Çağlayan said, Turkey's exports increased 12.5 percent in June over the same month of the previous year to reach $1.8 billion.
Çağlayan reminded that Jan-June exports totaled $11.2 billion with a year-on-year increase of 11.9 percent.
Minister of Science, Industry & Technology Nihat Ergun said, "In Turkey, there are special incentives for making electric vehicles. And if Toyota or other car makers develop and cooperate in the production of hybrid vehicles in Turkey, it's possible that the government may create new support mechanisms."
"We need new models because the domestic market is constantly evolving. Domestic demand will reach 1 million soon. We had to take that demand into account," Ergun said.
Toyota Motor Manufacturing Turkey CEO Orhan Ozer noted that the new Corolla will be exported to 52 countries and added, "Our factory started its production with the Corolla at first for the domestic market. After 2002 it became a model for export. By 2006 it had reached an export rate of 80 percent."
SABAH and agencies
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