Factory foundation of Turkey’s Automobile to be laid in May

Gürcan Karakaş, Senior Manager (CEO) of Turkey’s Automobile Initiative Group (TOGG), said: “We have started work on the construction of the factory. The foundation will be laid in May. We anticipate that the rough construction will take 12 months. As of 2022, we will take our pre-production vehicles off the lines.”

TOGG organized a press conference on Turkey’s Automobile at the Informatics Valley.

In his speech at the meeting, where important topics such as factory investment and manufacturing, especially the C-SUV model, were discussed, Karakaş stated that the foundation of the factory in Gemlik, which will start production in 2022 with an annual capacity of 175 thousand units, will be laid in May.

“We aim to unload 1 million vehicles by 2032”

Stating that they are moving forward by sticking to the timetable they have set, Karakaş said, “We have started work on the construction of the factory. The foundation will be laid in the spring. We anticipate that the rough construction will take 12 months. By 2022, we will take our pre-production vehicles off the lines. With an investment of 22 billion TL, we aim to unload 1 million vehicles by 2032 in our factory, which will reach an average annual production capacity of 175 thousand units.”

Pointing out that the factory to be established will be in the smart factory concept, Karakaş said, “The plan project of the factory is ready. We aim to have an iconic design that will consist of two buildings. On the other hand, we are in talks with the best companies in the world in terms of production lines.”

“We will announce the brand name in the fall”

Stating that they are working on determining the brand name and will announce their final decision in the fall, Karakaş said, “We are continuing our efforts to determine the best possible brand name. We aim for the right name to be acceptable not only in Turkey but also on a global scale, including all the world’s leading major markets. We have conducted our research in Norway, Germany, Russia, France and Turkey. We will announce the name of our brand in the fall.”

“First launch in Europe at MWC”

Karakaş said that at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) event to be held in Barcelona, Spain, they will launch the C-SUV model, a preview vehicle that heralds the transformation of automotive into a mobility ecosystem, to the world arena for the first time in Europe.

Stating that they put forward an important vision while developing Turkey’s automobile, Gürcan Karakaş said, “We are not a classic automobile company. That is why we pursue disruptive technologies. We position ourselves as a mobility-oriented technology company. As TOGG, we will lead the shell-changing automotive industry with our groundbreaking technologies.”

“Those who set out to build only automobiles were left stranded”

Explaining that they set out to make more than automobiles, Gürcan Karakaş said:

“Most of those who set out to make only automobiles have failed. Because unless you design beyond the automobile, the product remains only in the vehicle that goes from point A to point B. Currently, manufacturers’ profit per vehicle varies between 300 and 500 dollars. We set out at the right time. We see that the criteria for future winners have changed. The old big ones will not win just because they are big. The future is not with the big ones. More agile, creative, collaborative and user-oriented organizations will be successful. We continue our work to create the core of the Turkish mobility system.”

“In 2022, we will be the automobile company with the highest paid-in capital in Turkey”

Karakaş stated that both governments and institutions all over the world support such projects and said:

“This is a long-term project and journey. Within the 15-year project, financing must also be provided. We cooperate with the best in the world. We do not have the luxury of making mistakes. The window of opportunity will close faster starting from 2023. Therefore, we need to embroider all the success criteria like lace and launch our automobile at the end of 2022. Any product that is not developed in line with customer demand is stillborn. We grow by working with the best in the world. At certain points, there is no experience in our country yet. It’s not a problem that we don’t have it, we are working to create it. In 2022, we will be the automobile company with the highest paid-in capital in Turkey. We will spend the money we earn on new investments and new products.”

“We get consultancy from the best”

Explaining that they received professional support to determine the target costs of certain products and shorten their production processes, Karakaş continued as follows:

“We chose the German engineering company EDAG as our technology partner for vehicle integration. Myra is one of our partners in chassis systems, especially in mechanical evenings, which is recognized in the UK. Together with them, we are also looking at how we can place them in Turkey. While designing, we also look at who can implement it in Turkey and how they can implement it. Our teams have researched 105 different components we are looking for one by one. If available, we work with the best in Turkey, if not, we work with the best in the world. When we sit down with the supplier, the cost is clearly calculated, and we can negotiate and negotiate. We have set a 48-month process. Our starting point was to look at how others can do it and set off on this path. We will have completed our supplier selections around April or May. There are also brands that we are negotiating with, but we cannot disclose their names yet so as not to reduce our bargaining power.”

“Charging infrastructure will be in place by 2022”

Gürcan Karakaş stated that they closely examined Norway, Germany, France, the UK, the USA and China on charging infrastructure.

Stating that they have also developed a system in this context, Karakaş said, “We have shared it with our stakeholders in the public sector in Turkey. The important thing here is not to repeat the mistakes made by others in this regard. The charging infrastructure will be ready in 2022. With or without TOGG, Turkey will enter electric vehicles in 2022 and create the charging infrastructure. Because the market for vehicles with internal combustion engines will fall below 50 percent in 2030. This means that more than 50 percent of the market will be electric.”

“No one will be able to put dust on it”

Stating that no one expects a very high quality car to come out of Turkey, and that the most important reason for this is the EuroNCAP requirements in 2022, Karakaş said, “We are preparing for this with the friends from the defense industry, together with modeling and simulations. When we go abroad, no one will have anything to say about the automobile. We are at the wheel. The market we see as our export market in the first place will be Europe and some Turkic Republics as long as the infrastructure is ready. This process can be multiplied and accelerated with economies of scale.”

Emphasizing that they consciously chose the Informatics Valley for the company’s headquarters, Karakaş said, “First of all, we care about close cooperation. In particular, we saw that the importance of cooperation with startups would become more prominent. For this reason, we moved our headquarters here, because there will be more dynamism with the startups and ecosystem we will create around this place. We will be here until the factory is built and maybe for a while after the factory is built.”

Stating that when they set out for the design, they met with 18 companies, and that they also held meetings with some Turkish designers other than Murat Günak, Karakaş stated that 4 registered patents and 4 registrations have been obtained for Turkey’s Automobile so far.

“When we enter the market in 2022, we want the latest technology”

After his speech, Gürcan Karakaş answered the questions of the press members.

In response to a question about the battery, Karakaş said, “We never bring old technology here because it will be a little cheaper. Because consumers ultimately bear the cost of cheap old technology. With new technology, you can go 1-2 steps further than before. It is the same with the battery. Our most important issue in the battery is that we want the latest technology when we enter the market in 2022. Even if the approval is not complete at the moment, we want it technologically. There are 7 major manufacturers in the world. These make about 95 percent. We have signed a confidentiality agreement with 6 of these 7 manufacturers. When we sign a confidentiality agreement, you can discuss the long-term plans of these companies. Therefore, we can discuss the latest technology for the future.”

“There is no established electric car market in Turkey yet”

Karakaş responded to questions about the price of the automobile as follows:

“It is not right to say the price at this stage, both in terms of marketing and competitiveness. Because my competitor enters the market with a 15 percent discount 2-3 months before I enter the market, making it difficult for us to enter the market. There is no established electric car market in Turkey yet. And since there is not one, there is nothing we can compare and take as a basis. For this reason, we are building our strategy and game plan in a way that we can take market share from existing manufacturers in Turkey.”

Regarding pre-orders, Karakaş emphasized that it is not right to take pre-orders at this stage, reminding that there is still about 2.5 years until the production starts, and added that the sedan model is planned to enter the market within 18 months after the C-SUV model is released.

Source: https://www.aa.com.tr/tr/ekonomi/turkiyenin-otomobilinin-fabrika-temeli-mayista-atilacak/1716010