Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey

“Togg is more than a car, Togg is a challenge”

29.10.2022 / Gemlik / Bursa

The Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Türkiye (TOBB) President and Togg Chairman of the Board of Directors M. Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu said, “It is not easy to break the rules, but as Turkish entrepreneurs, we are here to change the game and we are breaking rotes and we will continue to do so. That is why Türkiye's automobile is not just a domestic and national car. Togg is more than a car, Togg is a challenge.”​

An opening ceremony was held with the participation of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan at the Gemlik Campus, where the mass production of Togg, one of Türkiye's visionary projects, will be located.

In his speech at the ceremony, Hisarcıklıoğlu said that they met on a very special day and that Türkiye's 100-year-old dream was a blessing for them.

Stating that they still have a long way to go, Hisarcıklıoğlu continued: “While Türkiye is rising to a new league, our Republic is opening its wings to a new century. The Republic of Türkiye is the most beautiful partnership of millions who have made a unity of destiny in these lands, it is the most cherished work. The date of October 29, when our Republic was declared, is a very special and proud day for all of us. We are a nation which has reached this day by fighting for its independence with tooth and nail. We are the children of those who set out with the words, “The nation's determination and decision will save the independence of the nation,” and those who succeeded in establishing a new state from the ashes. As the Turkish business world, we have continue to grow our homeland, nation and Republic by producing, selling what we produce to the whole world, and we will. We have always embraced the journey of exceeding the contemporary civilization goal set by Atatürk, and we will continue to do so. With these feelings and thoughts, we commemorate all our martyrs and veterans, especially the founder of our Republic, Gazi Mustafa Kemal Atatürk and his beloved comrades-in-arms, with the utmost respect and gratitude. May Allah blesse their souls.”

Hisarcıklıoğlu reminded that they promised the Turkish nation by responding to President Erdoğan's call at the TOBB General Assembly in 2017.

Hisarcıklıoğlu said that they promised the whole nation that day, “Let our state stand by us, we, as the Turkish business world, will achieve this,” and added, “We set out with the support of our President. Then we embarked on a difficult journey with our precious partners, Anadolu Group, BMC, Turkcell and Zorlu Holding; our braves. We continued our investments without slowing down in a period when there was great upheaval in the global economy and the whole world was dealing with the pandemic. Praise Allah, today we are proud to be able to keep our promise to our nation.”

- “We will be a preferred global brand”

Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu stated that he was proud of his Togg team, which exceeded 1300 people, his partners, the Republic of Türkiye government and the Turkish people who did not spare their support.

Hisarcıklıoğlu stated that the “Devrim” automobile could not be protected and an important opportunity was missed, and said: “This time we did not miss this technology opportunity, which comes once in 100 years. At the right time, we enter a head-to-head race with our global competitors. We produce more than just a car. With Togg smart devices, we say that we are also in the mobility world of tomorrow. We know that there are still those who do not believe in us, but we are undeterred. They made fun of us when we promised our President in May 2017, they laughed when we founded our company in June 2018, they said 'this is a toy' when we launched our first vehicle in December 2019. Two years ago, when we laid the foundation here in July 2020, they said 'This factory will not be finished', but we never gave up, we did not lose hope, we did what we know best. We continued to invest, to work non-stop. Look, here we are today. Soon, we are starting mass production with our first vehicle that our President will bring off the assembly line. In March, we will be using our Togg vehicles on the roads. Now, those who said 'you can't produce' are saying 'you can't sell to the world.' Let us make one more promise here in your presence, we will sell Türkiye's automobile first to Europe and then to the whole world. From the end of 2024, you will start to hear our export news, starting from European countries. We will be a preferred global brand with our technology, mobility solutions and competitive price.”

Hisarcıklıoğlu pointed out that Togg's brand, patent and design belong to them, and that they will not buy licenses, they will sell them.

- “Togg is the transition to the digital economy”

Stating that they will make the automotive supply industries global players of the new generation mobility ecosystem, Hisarcıklıoğlu emphasized that they will reduce foreign dependency with the technologies they have developed and will develop in the technology center located at TOBB ETU in Ankara.

Stating that Türkiye will become a country that exports critical technologies, not imports them, Hisarcıklıoğlu said: “We do not get permission from Paris, Detroit and Turin when we make our decisions. We make our decisions here, from Gemlik. It is not easy to break the rules, but as Turkish entrepreneurs, we are here to change the game and we are changing rotes and we will continue to do so. That is why Türkiye's Automobile is not only making domestic and national cars. Togg is more than a car, Togg is a challenge. Togg is technological transformation. Togg is the transition to the digital economy. First of all, I would like to express our gratitude to our President who put forward the idea and vision of such a great project. They have not only put forward the idea and vision, but have supported us at every stage in the last 5 years. He helped us whenever we knocked on his door day or night. We have always felt his support. President, may Allah be pleased with you.”

Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu thanked the ministers and ministries, presidents of chambers and commodity exchanges, representatives of the business world and managers of non-governmental organizations who contributed to bringing about Togg.

TOBB President Hisarcıklıoğlu invited Tuncay Özilhan from Anadolu Group, Fuat Tosyalı from BMC, Bülent Aksu from Turkcell and Ahmet Nazif Zorlu to the stage and raised their hands.

- President Erdoğan

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan also thanked the partners and stakeholders of Türkiye's Automobile Venture Group.

Celebrating the 99th anniversary of the Republic, Erdoğan said, “I remember with gratitude the ancestors who made the Anatolian lands our homeland, the heroes of the National Fight, the father of our Republic, Gazi Mustafa Kemal and all the members of our Grand National Assembly. On this meaningful day, I give eternal praise to Allah who blessed us to meet at such a historic opening where we are one heart as a nation. Being a nation means living freely in the same homeland, uniting differences with common dreams, overcoming sorrows with common joys, and achieving goals with common efforts. Being a nation means moving towards a common future on all these issues.”

President Erdoğan, emphasizing the importance of Togg, continued his speech as follows: “Togg is the name of the project that gives us all the pleasure of establishing this common dream for the strong future of our country. With this first vehicle that we have taken off the mass production line and brought before you, we are witnessing the realization of 60 years of dream. Red on one side and white on the other. You probably understand what it means. It is the blood on a flag which makes it a flag; a land is home if people die for it. For this reason, we say, “Togg is the common pride of Türkiye, of 85 million.” I would like to sincerely thank everyone from all over our country and various parts of the world who supported and prayed for the success of Türkiye's domestic and national car Togg. By saying 'This is a matter of country,' I would like to express my gratitude to the leaders of political parties, deputies and our friends from all levels of our state, and of course especially to our dear citizens, who share our excitement today. I wholeheartedly congratulate our braves, technicians, engineers and laborers who worked day and night to bring Togg off the mass production line. You, along with our nation, have honored the legacy of Nuri Demirağ, Nuri Killigil, Vecihi Hürkuş and Şakir Zümre. As you know, yesterday in Ankara, we shared with our nation the good news of our vision of the Century of Türkiye, which will mark the new century of our Republic. The first photograph of the Turkish Century is the facility we opened here and the vehicle we stand in front of.”

President Erdoğan said that its manufacturers described Togg as a smart device.

Wishing that the TOGG Gemlik Campus, where Türkiye's domestic and national automobile will be produced, and the smart devices brought off assembly line will prove beneficial to the country and the nation, Erdoğan stated that the Turkish nation has continued its existence by overcoming the toughest obstacles for thousands of years and has established its state by passing through the crucible of fate.

Emphasizing that the Republic began its first years as a country that shouldered all the burden of the WWI, tired of wars and exhausted its resources, Erdoğan said, "Our entrepreneurs, who embraced their work with the spirit of national fight in those difficult days, started very important initiatives despite all the impossibilities. With this enthusiasm, cartridge factories were established in Ankara, steel factories in Kırıkkale and aircraft factories in Kayseri. The foundations of many more works were laid in Anatolia. However, these brilliant attempts of the young republic were disrupted one by one by invisible hands with WWII.”

- “It is unbecoming of us to think small”

President Erdoğan stated that patriotic entrepreneurs such as Vecihi Hürkuş, Nuri Demirağ, Şakir Zümre and Nuri Killigil who established factories with their own talents, efforts and resources were prevented and continued:

“It is a pity that the airplanes produced in those factories have been replaced by incubators and the bombs produced have been replaced by stove pipes. With the destruction carried out slyly by some and ruthlessly by some, they broke the self-confidence of our people in such a way that we could not get rid of the trap we were in like a straitjacket put on us for decades. The last 20 years of our country have been spent in the struggle to tear this shirt that has been placed on us, to bring forth our essence from where it is buried. This is what suited us as the heirs of an ancient state tradition of thousands of years, a world state that ruled the world for 6 centuries. Because we are the descendants of the scholars who laid the foundations of today's science with their inventions in every field from medicine to engineering, the Conquerors who began and ended ages, and the pioneers who changed the world. That's why it's unbecoming of us to think small.”

Pointing out that Türkiye's goals are grand, its vision is broad and its faith is complete, Erdoğan said: “The way to be strong and stay strong is to be self-sufficient and not to be needy. That is why we say 'national' and 'domestic' at every opportunity. Under the guidance of our national technology move, does anyone see the successes we have achieved in every field, from the defense industry to automotive, from energy to health, and whose heart is not filled with joy? Has anyone seen our Atak and Gökbey helicopters, our Anatolian warship, our Hürkuş aircraft, our Akıncı, Bayraktar, Anka unmanned aerial vehicles, our Tayfun missile and not swelled with pride? Here the Typhoon missiles began to be fired. What did the Greek begin to do? Immediately in television broadcasts, newspapers, Typhoon entered their agenda. Wait, there's still to come. Now, when Togg enters Europe's roads with all these models, they will seriously ignite. What will they say? They will say, 'The crazy Turks are coming.'“

- Minister of Industry and Technology Mustafa Varank

Minister of Industry and Technology Mustafa Varank said that they have transformed the domestic car Togg, which every member of this country from 7 to 77 longs for, from being a dream under the auspices of President Erdoğan to a reality as of today, and that they will open the factory they laid the foundation of 2 years ago and bring off the first vehicles from the mass production line.

Minister Varank thanked all the guests who are with them on this proud day, who shared their joy, all the laborers who worked day and night to create this magnificent campus and made Togg ready for mass production, Togg managers and 5 fathers.

Stating that they are preparing for the 100th anniversary of the Republic with great excitement and enthusiasm, Varank said: “While meeting our current needs, we have accelerated our innovative projects that determine the demands of the future. Togg is a project that will shape the future of the automotive industry. When we said, 'Forget everything you know about the car, Togg is more than a car,' we were very serious. Its human-oriented, empathetic and intelligent nature makes it possible for Togg to continuously learn for us and offer us appropriate solutions. In short, Togg is a technology that transforms itself according to its user. Just as we call Togg 'more than a car,' we call our facility where we will produce Togg 'more than a factory.'“

Minister Varank, giving information about the factory, said that this place will reduce carbon emissions. He said that it will make a difference in the world with its innovative applications for recycling, energy efficiency and renewable energy.

Stating that the environmentally friendly and smart vehicle will be on the roads from an environmentally friendly and smart facility, Varank said, “So much so that this facility has already inspired new investments of Europe's well-established automotive companies. Our company, our contractor, who built this facility, has become the contractor of new projects in Europe.”

Varank, noting that they have built a strong R&D and entrepreneurship ecosystem in 20 years under the leadership of President Erdoğan, said, “The product of this ecosystem, innovative, technological-based initiatives, will be the pioneers of our economic and technological independence with their capacity to open up to the global market. For this reason, we have worked day and night for 20 years to develop and transform our industry, human resources and R&D ecosystem, and we continue to work.”

Emphasizing that the successful performance of technology initiatives in the recent period clearly reveals the potential of the country, Varank said that technoparks are not only buildings consisting of R&D offices, but also technology bases established to realize Türkiye's dreams.

Varank stated that Togg, which will shape the mobility ecosystem of the future, has laid its first seeds under the hosting of the Informatics Valley, which is their largest technopark, and has evolved into a huge campus here today, and continued:

“In this sense, Togg is one of the load outputs of our R&D and innovation ecosystem. Our tool derives its freedom in intellectual property from the originality of the technologies it develops. With the ecosystem it creates, Togg recruits hundreds of suppliers, develops their technological competencies and prepares them for global competition. Thanks to these companies, we can think differently and obtain new and original products. Togg's technology suppliers include young startups, early-stage startups. Togg has expanded its domestic supplier network so much that we witness that production is made to Togg even in the factories we visit randomly all over our country.”

Minister Varank, noting that Togg has made a great contribution to the transformation and development of the supply industry, which is still in its early stages in the field of electric vehicles, said, “Togg has also turned into a great platform where our talented human resources can realize their dreams and use their knowledge. Living abroad. We have included successful engineers and designers in our team. In this sense, it has also made significant contributions to the reverse brain drain.”

Explaining that all these examples are separate proofs of how Togg is a domestic and national project and brand, Varank said, “There are also those who do not want to understand this insistently. Let's say this briefly for them: There is no Hans, no George; Ayşe, Mehmet and Türkiye are behind the wheel of the Togg project.”

Varank, noting that Togg is one of the number one self-confidence projects of the Turkish nation, said, “The courage and support given to the braves in order to overcome such a project is of course important to a certain extent. But without a strong and firm will behind this project, this dream would never have become a reality. That is why this project and this country have one chief father who has shown that firm will for 20 years. That is our President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.”

- TOGG Senior Manager Gürcan Karakaş

TOGG Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Gürcan Karakaş stated that they set out to make more than a car first of all and that they are moving in line with these goals.

Explaining the process of Togg's starting work and coming to this day, Karakaş said that everyone worked hard in this process.

Giving information about the new models, Karakaş said, “We have given up on making a hatchback. Because we will prepare a Cross-Coupe, which is more dynamic, more exciting and will win the appreciation of our target audience more. In the first half of 2025, our sedan is coming, and in 2026 the Cross-Coupe is coming.”

Regarding his future goals, Karakaş said: “Our goal is to create a central computer that will provide communication with all smart devices and connected devices after tomorrow. One of the examples is on this and we have products that we work on other than that. The second is the one I just mentioned, the battery issue. Look, everyone was switching to electric vehicles. When we first presented this to you four years ago, we received criticism. But no one questions it anymore. Everyone is transitioning to electric. But there is something that not everyone has. That's the cell. Today's chip crisis will turn into a cell crisis tomorrow. That's why we formed a partnership from the beginning, as I just said. Not just for the car, but to store renewable energy.”

On the other hand, in the press release shared from TOGG, the sales strategy and contact channels with the user were also shared. It is reported that TOGG will make direct sales by combining digital and physical in a hybrid structure to be close to the user.

Karakaş, whose views were included in the written statement, gave the following information: “Those who are closer to the user are more successful in global competition. We will bring our smart devices directly to our users and organize the sales directly ourselves. We will serve in a hybrid structure that puts the user at the center and blends the digital and physical experience. Our goal is to give users a faster, more efficient experience and to enable them to become Togg users with an end-to-end online experience. Today, even classic manufacturers do not sell their new generation electric vehicles through the dealer network. In November, we are opening our first point of contact at the Zorlu Center in İstanbul. By 2023, that number will reach 19. Our after-sales contact points will be available at 20 locations in 7 regions until pre-order begins, including fixed and mobile service points.”

Pointing out that as a technology company, they are working on different digital products as well as smart devices, Karakaş said, “We will start to announce our digital products very soon. We focus on strategic areas such as mobility solutions, big data, cybersecurity, fintech, blockchain, gamification, smart grids and mobility services. We aim to provide our users with a seamless mobility experience thanks to services such as smart living, e-wallet, remote update, smart connection.”

Stating that they kept all their promises on the way to the targets, Karakaş continued: “We have stated from the beginning that we set out to make more than a car. At this point, we have managed to build an ecosystem that develops around our smart device. We are a 100 percent national project. We make all our own decisions because we are at the wheel. We are also indigenous. At the beginning, we said '51 percent locality rate', we chose 75 percent of our suppliers from Türkiye, we caught 51, we aim to exceed it. Today, indigenousness and nationality are determined not by the number of pieces you use, but by the fact that all intellectual and industrial property rights belong to you. We have explained and registered the concept of USECASE Mobility, which represents the user-oriented, smart, empathetic, connected, autonomous, shared and electrical features of our smart device to the whole world. We have signed invaluable collaborations to grow the mobility ecosystem and develop new technologies. We started to position our brand on the most reputable technology platforms in the world. For our TOGG Technology Campus, which is 'More than a factory' with its functions, smart and environmental features gathered under the same roof, we worked with 1200 business partners come snow or winter, including the pandemic. We built the cleanest paint shop in Europe. For global competition, we have formed teams where we bring together the best of our country and the best of the world.”

- First Togg rolls off the production line

With a live broadcast from the assembly plant, the first smart device, the C-SUV, came off the mass production line. President Erdoğan came to the ceremony area amid applause from Togg employees using the red C-SUV named “Anadolu” that rolled off the mass production line.

TOGG shareholders welcomed President Erdoğan on the stage. After Erdoğan addressed the guests, TOBB President Hisarcıklıoğlu presented the document of the first Togg order given by Erdoğan.

Hisarcıklıoğlu also gave Erdoğan the key to the first Togg that came off the line to be exhibited at the Presidential Complex.

The ceremony ended with a commemorative photo.

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