Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey

Turkey publicizes prototype of first indigenous car

27.12.2019 /  Gebze / Kocaeli

The Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB) President and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Turkey's Automobile Enterprise Group (TOGG) M. Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu stated that Turkey's Automobile will be one of the most important global brands of the country in 2020, adding, “We will carry out our brand launch. In 2021, we will complete our factory and open it. In 2022, hopefully our first vehicle will come off the assembly line”​

TOGG's “Journey to Innovation” introducing Turkey's Automobile and Informatics Valley Official Opening Ceremony was held in Gebze with the participation of many guests, including President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Minister of Industry and Technology Mustafa Varank, cabinet members, non-governmental organizations and industry representatives.

Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB) and TOGG President M. Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu, in his speech here, stated that a giant step towards Turkey's half-century dream has been taken, “At the TOBB General Assembly in 2017, President Erdoğan issued a call to us and asked us to take over this endeavor. So we set out and brought our braves together. Praise Allah, we have stood by our promise. I am a proud son of this country. I am honored for the Turkish private sector, which has achieved this.”

Hisarcıklıoğlu stated that the automotive industry has evolved and opened a new window of opportunity for Turkey, stating that the country missed this opportunity in the 1960s when it couldn’t roll out the “Devrim” car.

Rifat Hisarcıklıoğlu, reiterating what they promised President Erdoğan in May 2017, continued, “We said we would do our part., They made fun of us. We started our joint venture in November 2017, they didn't believe it. We started our company in June 2018, they laughed, but we didn't give up, we kept working. We know we're still a long way off, but look, we're here today. The accumulation, energy and love of the Turkish private sector are in this hall. Do you know why we call it ‘Turkey's Automobile’? Because this is the car of the 82 million.”

Hisarcıklıoğlu, said they will employ foreign engineers for their own patents, said they will invest at least 22 billion TRY in 15 years.

Pointing out that the car will not be produced only in Turkey, Hisarciklıoğlu said, “Brand, patent, design will be ours. We're not going to buy licenses; we're going to sell licenses. We're not going to assemble; we're going to have others assemble. We will not work for someone else's patent.”

Hisarcıklıoğlu noted that as TOGG partners will commit at least 3.5 billion TRY (500 million Euros) of capital, showing great dedication, they will refrain from any dividends during the 15-year investment period.

- “We'll break preconceptions”

Reporting that the endeavor will provide 20,000 additional jobs in sub-industries, with 4,300 directly related, Hisarcıklıoğlu said, “The numbers are big because our goal is big. With the grace of Allah, the faith of our nation, and the leadership and support of our President, we will succeed. In 2020, we will be one of our most important global brands and we’ll hold our brand launch. In 2021, we will complete our factory and open it. In 2022, hopefully our first vehicle will come off the assembly line. It's not easy to break the preconceptions, but we're here to do it, and we're going to break preconceptions.”

Stating that they have revolutionized 4 more areas with Turkey's Automobile, Hisarcıklıoğlu said that the first and perhaps the most important one is the model of cooperation.

Stating that they were always told, ““Turks can’t form partnerships,” Hisarcıklıoğlu said, “However, we gathered the braves from different ideas, different sectors at the same table. We didn’t settle for small. We said, ‘Make it grand and make it ours.’”

Hisarciklıoğlu said that the second revolution was to reverse the brain drain, that for years qualified employees and engineers in Turkey have been going abroad, with TOGG, one of the world's most successful Turkish managers Gürcan Karakaş returned to Turkey and took over the project; hundreds of talented brains including Turks, Germans, Brazilians, Americans, Asians from around the world have begun to gather in the Informatics Valley.

Hisarciklıoğlu stated that, as the third revolution, for the first time, they are playing for the top position in technology, “Now we're building an electric car. Whatever’s being done today in America, Europe, China, we do the same. While diesel vehicles are being banned around the world, we are developing a clean and environmentally green product on a global scale. The latest change was also carried out in industrial policy. In the old days, the government gave incentives, waiting for investors. Now the government is setting targets. The public-private sector determines the steps to be taken and the support is stipulated together. The European Union and China have built all their industrial strategies on this after 2020. We applied this this way of working for the first time outside for the defense industry on this project.”

- “A new challenge”

Stating that “Turkey's Automobile” does not mean just producing domestic brand cars, Hisarcıklıoğlu said, “It is more than a car, it is more than a technological transformation, it is the transition to digital economy, it alone will create 20,000 additional jobs, 7.5 billion USD less current deficit, a $50 billion contribution to gross domestic product. In other words, Turkey's Automobile is our new challenge to the world."

Hisarcıklıoğlu, pointing to the support given by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, “Our Minister of Industry and Technology Mustafa Varank and Treasury and Finance Minister Berat Albayrak, our minister of treasury and finance, Minister Faruk Özlü, who we worked with the previous term, our deputy ministers and bureaucrats believed in this project and gave full support.”

Hisarciklıoğlu emphasized that they believe in this endeavor and said, “We will make the necessary sacrifice. This is just the beginning; we've got a long way to go. As Turkish entrepreneurs, we are pursuing bigger goals. A Turkey that invents and exports technology. A Turkey that brings new traditions to the old village. a Turkey which will attain the goal of modern civilization set by Gazi Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. May Allah grace Turkey's Automobile with good fortune.”

Hisarcıklıoğlu also called the braves, TOGG partners, to the stage.

Ahmet Nazif Zorlu, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Zorlu Holding, recalling Hisarcıklıoğlu’s invitation to invest in Turkey's Automobile, saying, “He asked me, ‘Are you in?’ We said, 'We are always in for our country and we always will be.”

Turkcell Chairman Ahmet Akça also expressed his wishes for Turkey's Automobile’s success.

Tuncay Özilhan, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Anadolu Group, said, “As a group, we are very happy and honored to be a part of Turkey's Automobile. We set out with great courage, made an important breakthrough. I hope that after 2 years we will have this happiness together when we complete our production and put our first product on the market.”

BMC Board Member Talip Ozturk also noted that as a company, they will always give full support to TOGG.

- President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan began his speech with, “Today we witness a historic day for our country, the realization of Turkey's 60-year-old dream," stating that they have always expressed that they are worthy of much more than just assembly.

President Erdoğan said they have increased the country’s automotive production potential from 350,000, to more than 1.5 million.

Stating that exports in this sector reached 32 billion USD, Erdoğan said, “Unfortunately, we have not been able to produce our own car for a long time. We have taken many steps in this regard, we have made attempts. Our dream was to have a car with all rights owned by our country, kneaded with the efforts of our designers and engineers, produced with national technologies and to carry our name to the world. That's why we were looking for braves to take on this task. In the end, the braves gave their hearts to this dream of our nation and founded Turkey's Automobile Venture Group. I thank them on behalf of myself and our nation. They put together a professional team focused solely on their work and brought their work to this day. For this endeavor, over 100 Turkish engineers worked night and day, worked at the expense of being separated from their homes and children. Some of them are our friends who have left their prestigious jobs abroad and returned home with great enthusiasm just to take part in this project, of which is our CEO is one. I especially thank him.”

- “We have been chasing this dream for nearly 60 years”

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, said, “Today we are sharing the preview vehicles with you for the first time, just as we promised two years ago.”

Erdoğan stressed that they chose the location in particular, and that the area is Turkey's Informatics Valley, Turkey's technology base that will shape the future.

Erdoğan pointed out that they, in fact, are implementing two mega-projects on this historic day at the same time, noting that they are carrying out the official opening of the Informatics Valley and sharing the car's preview.

Thanking those who contributed to the project, especially Minister of Industry and Technology Mustafa Varank and the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey, Erdoğan said, “Turkey's search for the domestic car is not new. We've been chasing this dream for approximately 60 years. The story of the first domestic automobile experiment, ‘Devrim', is also an example of how our dreams have been turned into nightmares. We saw the ‘Devrim’ car outside. The same thing happened to our entrepreneurs who have made planes, developed engines and produced weapons before, and the same thing happened to 'Devrim'. Let's not forget, the mentality that prevented the ordering of the aircraft factory in Kayseri and the export of orders from outside is still active today. We have seen over time what the purpose of those who blew up the people who admirably established the weapons factory under difficult conditions. Those did everything to prevent Turkey from producing its own engine, are standing against us today again.”

- “We leave it to our nation to ask for an account of what we lost in 65 years”

President Erdoğan, stated that a campaign to put a stop to Turkey’s efforts with when ‘Devrim’ was being developed and said: “The interesting thing is that the Minister of Industry of the period participated in this campaign. Those who said that domestic automobiles cannot be produced both technologically and that they do not have enough markets, welcomed the automobile factories established by Western companies in our country a few years later. This, at a time when the automobile market was starting rev up, if this initiative had been successfully implemented, Turkey would be in a different place today. If the previous aircraft, weapons and engine projects were carried out, we would be in a different place today. 65 years after the Silver Motor attempt, we're still suffering from not being able to build our engine. I would on this occasion commend the indomitable defender of the idea of industrialization, the late Necmettin Erbakan. I hope that when our projects initiated by our various institutions are concluded, we will have solved the engine issue once and for all in a few years to meet our every need. We also leave it to our nation to ask for an account of what we lost in 65 years. We leave it to you.”

Stating that they will attempt to put an end to Turkey's endeavor to build its own car again, Erdoğan said, “But this time we will not allow it. They managed to prevent the ‘Devrim’, but now we will not allow them to stop us this time.”

Underlining that software is the most efficient and important component of new technologies, Erdoğan told the participants: “We will experience a leap in software here. To do this, we will rapidly increase the number of more than 170,000 developers to over 500,000. We will further increase educational activities to give our children the competence to develop software. Our Informatics Valley will also host one of the next generation software schools we will open. We work with technology companies, NGOs and related institutions. Informatics Valley will also be the center of the Open Source Platform. Because of all these advantages, Informatics Valley is also hosting Turkey's Automobile Project. The factory where our car will be physically produced will be in Bursa, the heart of this industry. You wonder, ‘Where in Bursa?' I'll give you the good news. We have a large place in Gemlik that belongs to our Armed Forces, and hopefully we will allocate 1 million square meters of this area of approximately 4 million square meters, and hopefully we will start the construction of our factory. I hope this investment to prove beneficial for Gemlik, Bursa.”

Erdoğan said the vehicle, whose intellectual and industrial rights are owned by Turkey, will be introduced as a competitive Turkish brand in the world.

Stating that all strategic decisions regarding this brand were taken by Turkey and that the ideas were implemented by Turkish engineers, Erdoğan said, “We do not receive licenses and certificates from anyone for the steps taken, all technical features are ours. In other words, we're setting the rules for the game now. We're setting them in Syria. We are setting them between Libya and Turkey. We're setting them in the defense industry.”

Stating that the world automotive industry is at a new crossroads and that the changes are being followed, Erdoğan said, “New production models are emerging under the leadership of electric autonomous and networked technologies. Everyone's on equal footing in this race right now. we have to adapt our automotive sector, whose exports are 32 billion USD, to this change. We can't take it slow. We're going to do it fast. Artificial intelligence is increasingly prominent in automobiles as it is in all areas. We want to prepare our industry for the next era with all its elements. Our technology accumulation in Turkey's Automobile project will pave the way for many other sectors and will also be the igniter. We can't afford to make mistakes. After we're the ones who set the rules, it doesn't matter who we support in this endeavor and who we employ. Engineers from Turkey's most prominent institutions are currently working on the mathematical modeling and endurance tests of the domestic car. We will hopefully produce the largest internal volume, highest performance and most cost-effective vehicle in its class. Our vehicle will operate with zero emissions and never pollute the environment. When we go into mass production, hopefully we will have Europe's first and only indigenous electric SUV.”

Stating that 3 years after beginning of passenger car production in Turkey, the highest domestically produced ratio product will be Turkey's Automobile, Erdoğan stressed, “Recently, Istanbul Driver's Chamber announced it would not be buying vehicles until the end of 2020 and then would buy our own domestic car from the moment production is made. In 2022, our charging infrastructure will be ready all over Turkey. All our institutions have already begun preparations. Therefore, this car is domestic and national. But there are those who don't understand indigenousness and nationality, and they're none of our business. We're going to get on with it. No one should try to disguise this fact.”

“By producing Turkey's Automobile as an electric vehicle, we are reaching directly to the technology of the future, not the past or present,” Erdoğan said, adding that with his design, battery, charging stations, this car project will prepare the country for the world of the future.

- “We're pursuing a global brand”

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, expressing that there are very few countries in the world that can do this, continued his speech, “Turkey enters the field of electric cars from the very beginning, not one but a few steps ahead of everyone else. We don't just build this car for our own needs. We're looking to be a global brand. Starting from nearby markets like Europe, we will have reached our goal the day we see this car on the roads all over the world. We determine our production and export strategy accordingly. And I know our nation is looking forward to owning this vehicle. Ahead of 2022, when this car will be commercially available, a pre-sale process will be initiated to show our nation's support for the project and the national technology move. We can implement this method used in similar projects in the world in our country. I sincerely believe that our nation will embrace this project with the demand it will put forward in pre-sale. As Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, I place the first pre-order myself here. I would like to thank our braves who have demonstrated all their courage and perseverance for this project.”

Erdoğan thanking TOBB, coordinating the private sector, and the Ministry of Industry and Technology, coordinating the public administration and the Ministry of Treasury and Finance and everyone who contributed, said, “In this you will be the heroes to make our country's 60-year-old dream come true. Your name will go down in history. Future generations will discuss your success. As President, I will always be with you, as I have been since the first day. I personally follow every step you take. With the grace of Allah, Turkey will be the country of the future, where the steps it takes are followed with admiration. When we believe in ourselves, when we trust ourselves, there are no obstacles that we cannot overcome.”

Erdoğan congratulated the companies in the initiative group and the team involved in the project.

- Minister of Industry and Technology Mustafa Varank

Minister of Industry and Technology Mustafa Varank said that Turkey had an industrial infrastructure that could export $36 billion in 2002 with low sectoral diversity, and lacked mechanisms to encourage innovation, entrepreneurship and R&D.

Noting that a strong R&D and entrepreneurship ecosystem has been created in 17 years under the leadership of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Varank said, “Today we now have an export volume reaching 170 billion USD. We can produce in almost any sector. With over 1,500 R&D and design centers and 85 technoparks that we have established from scratch all over Turkey, it hosts the transformation of new ideas into products.”

Minister Varank stressed that Turkey has written a new success story, especially in the defense industry that the whole world is talking about, adding that the rate of indigenousness in this field has risen from 20% to over 70%.

Varank underlined that they want to make Turkey one of the countries producing high technology and guiding technology in every field, and that the 2023 Industrial and Technology Strategy prepared in spirit of National Technology Move is part of this vision. He said, “Today, on the way to strengthening our economic and technological independence, we are officially opening the Informatics Valley, the biggest technopark of our country. Many initiatives in this center, home to Turkey's Automobile Initiative Group, will be at the forefront of critical domestic and national technologies. Public, university, industrial and non-governmental organizations, which are stakeholders of the Informatics Valley, will create a strong synergy. With the concrete projects here, we will ensure the formation of our global brands and the emergence of Turkish initiatives whose value is measured in billions of dollars. I believe Informatics Valley, which will continue on its path with bigger steps, will strengthen our country’s position in the 21st century."

Varank, stating that Turkey's most eminent companies came together under the auspices of President Erdoğan, to introduce Turkey's Automobile to the world, “Bright minds, all more experienced than each other, are developing this car here at the R&D center in the Information Valley. This car is Turkey's automobile with all intellectual and industrial property rights and engineering decisions. Every lira earned from this car is Turkey's gain. This pride is the pride of our 82 million citizens, of Turkey. Turkey's Automobile is not just a car production project. It is Turkey's move to capture new window of opportunity.”

Varank pointed out that the automotive sector is going through a radical process of change, and said that the connected, autonomous and electric car market provides great opportunities for new ventures alongside established brands.

"Today, electric and connected vehicles have only 1% of total vehicle sales revenue, while after 15 years the rate will increase to 40%. We have the opportunity to develop these cars and all the critical technologies that will be included in the accompanying mobility ecosystem. Thus, we will increase our export capacity and employment volume of $32 billion in the automotive sector.”

- Turkey's Automobile Enterprise Group Senior Manager Gürcan Karakaş

Turkey's Automobile Enterprise Group (TOGG) Senior Manager (CEO) Gürcan Karakaş said, “I would like to underline that the way we are going to innovate is also a path to a higher league.”

Karakaş, who said that it is a very opportune time to develop the car, said that the rules of the game in the automotive field in the world are being rewritten.

Noting that car users' expectations have changed, Karakaş said, “The car is becoming a smart device. Transformed into a smart device, the car can be used as a living space. It's an autonomous vehicle. In short, what happened to the mobile phone will happen to the automotive sector.”

Karakaş stated that they chose the right timing because of the transformation in the automotive industry, said: “I want to talk briefly about automotive trends. In automotive technologies, electric vehicles have become more long-range, more accessible in terms of price appeal, and then there are cars connected to the Internet of Things (IoT). We're talking about a world where the vehicle itself is on the Internet,

So as our cities get smarter, as our homes get smarter, as our factories become smarter, our car becomes a living space. It's becoming an area where everything is intertwined, everything is connected. That's why we're saying we set off at the right time. Because as the rules of the game change, so do the rules for success. Now, not the big ones as they used to be, but the agile, creative, collaborative companies and organizations that put the user at the center of their activities can be successful.”

Karakaş said they aim to create a global brand with the most up-to-date state, whose intellectual industrial property is 100% owned by Turkey.

Evaluating the developments in the world of electric vehicles, Karakaş explained that they want to develop a car electric from the ground up, “Not only in our country, but all over the world want to carry our car to a competitive position. The final part of our goal is, when we enter the market in the second half of 2022, to be Europe's first non-global SUV manufacturer. Our second goal is to build the core of Turkey's mobility ecosystem.”

Gürcan Karakaş said, “When we say, ‘More than a car,’ of course we start with a car. First to develop the concept, production, after-sales. But from the beginning, we develop this car, for 2025 and after, with intelligent devices in mind. We are already designing electrical and electronic architecture. Therefore, these smart devices can create new solutions within smart cities, plus provide a basis for mobility services, provide jobs in data-based services, and offer more jobs with smart grid-charging opportunities. we're talking about the system as a whole.

We examined 18 companies before starting this project. Their good aspects and bad aspects. Why they succeeded, why they failed. And in this context, we prepared a comprehensive 15-year plan.”

Gürcan Karakaş stated that they keep the customer, user and consumer the customer, user and consumer in the forefront of what they do, “Our competitors are not big organizations, but competitors at the start-up-entrepreneur level. That's why we think we should have an agile organizational structure. Do we have the luxury of working with the best in the world when we're doing all this and talking about global competition? No. When we find the best of the world in Turkey, we work together until. If that is not possible we work together and transfer know-how to domestic actors. Since we know our target audience very well, we have seen that the best of Turkey in research companies are the best in Europe. That's how we started.”

Pointing out that they have been working with sub-industrialists and suppliers in Turkey for months, Karakaş said: “How is the charging infrastructure' we are working together with our ministries. We believe that turkey's charging infrastructure problem will be solved in 2022. As a collaboration in Informatics Valley, we will establish and grow Turkey's mobility ecosystem with them because we have the infrastructure you need as entrepreneurs. First of all, we have established an ecosystem of partnership structure. We started from scratch for zero emissions vehicles. It's a smart device. The Turkish mobility company is being developed for the first time in Turkey.”

Karakaş, emphasizing that there will be 5 models in 15 years in the product range, gave the following information: “Starting with the SUV in the first 2 years and then bringing our C segment sedan in 18-24 months. Since we will develop all of these technically on the same platform, we think we will increase our competitive power. Why did we choose an SUV? The first is the world's largest segment. Turkey's largest segment that will grow in the next 5 years. It's a segment that's 95% imported now. The type of vehicle most desired by users. It's good for the family, too. It's spacious and comfortable. We also see it as the most suitable segment for creating a brand.

We investigated the brand process very quickly with customer, target audience and professional approach and defined our brand essence. In doing so, we went down to our client's subconscious and noted their expectations. Our customers expect us to have an original, strong, confident, transforming, sincere and innovative brand. We intend to complete the naming process of this brand by the middle of next year. In doing so, we will progress through our target markets by conducting our tests.”

Karakaş, referring to the original design of Turkey's Automobile, “When we look at our car from the outside, it is lean and prestigious, dynamic and sharp, technological and innovative. When we enter, a design that contains elements inspired by our culture have been created within the framework.”

Karakaşstated that the product will have two alternatives of 200 horsepower and 400 horsepower, said, “We designed our vehicle as rear-wheel drive or dual engine all-wheel drive. With our 200-horsepower vehicle in 7.6 seconds, with our 400-horsepower vehicle, we will officially glue the speed lovers between you to the seat in 4.8 seconds. With a range of 500 kilometers and a fast charge, we can charge for under 30 minutes. Intelligent connection and updating software over the internet will be standard in our car. We're also starting with a technology that's ready for autonomous driving level 3. One of the things we care about most is driving safety. We are already preparing for technical specifications that will occur in 2022. In doing so, we are moving forward to shorten the product development process by considering all kinds of simulations and predictions from the beginning.”

Pointing to the prominent properties of Turkey's Automobile, Karakaş said, “We are talking about the car with the longest axle distance in its segment. It will have the widest internal volume and the highest performance. In total cost of ownership, it will be the most suitable vehicle with the advantage of being an electric vehicle. When we start mass production in 2022, our company will be the car company with the highest paid equity capital.”

Karakaş, drawing attention to technology focuses, said: “Our technology focus is on our unique technology, for example, we develop the battery from scratch, we do not buy it from anywhere, we do not license from anywhere. We have excellent engineers in the defense industry in our country, we have carried over the modeling experience of the helicopter, the aircraft, to our automobile. With the modeling of our car, we can do a lot of simulations very quickly and efficiently. We're talking about a technology that can be connected with the tools in your home, which you see outside in the foyer to do more than the car by moving forward with technology and thinking about the needs of the future consumer. We want to differentiate with systems, such as holographic assistants, which will shake up the navigation system and some information systems in transportation.”

“What does ‘Turkey's Automobile’ mean?" Karakaş emphasized that he wants to answer the question, “First of all, it is a global brand of Turkey. It is a company that can make its decisions independently, we sit behind the wheel and create its own ecosystem. By combining technology with other technologies of our country, leadership brings the infrastructure and application areas that can lead to the next level. Above all, 100% of intellectual industrial property rights are owned by Turkey. When we look at our competencies and our market, it is evident we set out at the right time and place. This path to innovation is also one which will lead us into a higher league.”

Name Surname
Your Email
Your Friend's Email
Your Note
Your message has been sent
Thank you