Turkey wants to establish its own car brand
The project is headed by a former Bosch executive
Five Turkish companies have joined together to give life to a new ambitious project - the first domestic car brand. They have also recruited foreign experts, such a former Bosch executive, to help them, writes Automotive News Europe.
Mehmet Gurcan Karaka will head the consortium starting September 1st. He worked previously as a mechanical engineer for Bosch's Turkish subsidiary between 2004 and 2007. After that, he headed a division in charge of electrical drives at Bosch's facility located in Buhlertal, Germany.
The brand's first ambitious project is a fully electric range of models. No fewer than three electric cars will be built on a shared platform, as the Turkish government is investing massively in the expansion of the country's charging infrastructure.
The five companies that make up the consortium are Anadolu Group, the Turkish-Qatari company BMC, Turkey’s mobile wireless company Turkcell, Zorlu Holding and the Kok Group. The Turkish Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges (TOBB) is coordinating the project.
Turkey has purchased the license to the Saab 9-3 from National Electric Vehicle Sweden but it's not clear whether the consortium still plans to use the car as a base. The Turkish authorities are banking that the first domestic brand will be a success. Even Turkey's president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, says he can't wait to be the on of the first paying customers.
There were other attempts in the past to establish a Turkish brand, but they were unsuccessful. For example, the Anadol group sold a few models in cooperation with Ford and there was also an attempt to build a model in cooperation with Fiat. That's not to say that Turkey does not have a powerful automotive industry. Ford, Hyundai, Renault, Fiat, and Toyota all own factories there. There is also a robust industrial segment dedicated to building commercial vehicles.