Along with Erdoğan, Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım and Science, Industry and Technology Minister Faruk Özlü also attended the launching of the Automobile Industry Domestic joint venture group at the Presidential Palace complex in Ankara. In the speech given during the meeting, Erdoğan said officials expect the prototype of the car to be ready in 2019, adding that they expect sales to begin in 2021.
Expressing his gratitude to the participating firms, Erdoğan pledged his full support for the venture, adding that he will closely follow relevant developments. “I declare right now that I want to own the first car, provided I pay the price of the first car you will launch on the market,” he said
Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges (TOBB) Chairman Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu and signatories of the project, Kıraç Holding Chairman İnan Kıraç, Zorlu Holding Chairman Ahmet Nazif Zorlu, Anadolu Group Chairman Tuncay Özilhan, Turkcell Chairman Ahmet Akça, BMC Chairman Ethem Sancak and many other guests attended the meeting. The initiative came after repeated calls from Erdoğan for a joint venture car project by TOBB and the Science, Industry and Technology Ministry. “No one should hesitate. We will produce Turkey’s [first] car using the best design and technology, both for our country and the world.”
The president said that it is a shame for Turkey to have fallen behind in manufacturing a domestically produced car, noting that over 750,000 automobiles were sold in the country last year.
“Today, we are taking a historic step to get rid of this shame,” he said.
“We expect the joint venture group to finish the preparation process quickly, to complete the prototype of the car in 2019 and for sales to begin in 2021. We do not want the slightest delay in this project, which I believe has a special place among Turkey’s 2023 visionary goals,” Erdoğan said.
The Turkish president, who said that he will stand beside the signatories, indicated that he will appoint a special team for the Presidency if necessary, which would monitor the project’s progress and take steps for the elimination of problems that arise.
“On the condition that I pay for it, I would like to say that I will buy the first car launched on the market,” Erdoğan said.
Following the entrance into the market of hybrid electric cars and driverless vehicles in recent years, Erdoğan said that the automobile sector has entered a new era. “We do not doubt that the car to be produced will be suitable not just to meet modern-day needs, but also in meeting the needs of the future generations, as well. The pioneering abilities and carrier power of this car will surely be a joint venture group.” Erdoğan said.
The Turkish president also said the car will be unveiled with the accumulations, contributions and support of all of Turkey.
When a proper product is put forth, Erdoğan said the nation will go for it wholeheartedly, adding that he believes people will prefer the domestically produced car.
- At the consortium’s launch (from l. to r.): Zorlu Holding’s Ahmet Nazif Zorlu, Kıraça Holding’s İnan Kıraç, TOBB Pres. Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, PM Binali Yıldırım, Industry Min. Faruk Özlü, Turkcell’s Ahmet Akça, BMC’s Ethem Sancak, Anadolu Group’s Tuncay Özilhan