It looks likely that Turkey will develop at least one passenger car brand over the next few years due to government incentives. Plans have already been underway for more than a year, and if all goes well then annual car production could increase from 1.5 million to 4 million annually.
Ali Kibar, the CEO of Hyundai Assan Otomotive Turkey, sees this as being a long-term project, and has stated the need to take both the global and local market needs into account. It is expected that local firms will be operating independently as well as conducting joint ventures with foreign manufacturers, but it’s been pointed out that Turkey needs to improve its infrastructure as for example it currently doesn’t have its sufficient test drive facilities.
Although the first car will be manufactured to appeal to the local market, it’s likely later models will be more geared towards the global market, and could be more luxurious and expensive. Local car manufacturer Karsan was a participant in last year’s New York taxi contest, entering the V1 car model. The manufacturer lost its bid to Nissan, but recently received a distributorship offer from Canada for that particular model.
If it goes ahead Canada will be the first country to receive this car. The car industry is extremely important to Turkey and out of the 115 research and development centres in Turkey, 46 to them are auto centres. However the country still needs to concentrate on developing electronic and engine parts. At the moment around 50% of Turkey’s car exports go to the EU, but it’s anxious to diversify its market, and target markets include the Middle East and North Africa.