Minister of Industry and Technology Mehmet Fatih Kacir said that they are in talks with many automobile brands that do not have investments in Turkiye to invest in Turkiye.
Kacir spoke at the opening ceremony of the Yenikoy Factory, which was redesigned by Ford Otosan with innovative and efficient solutions in Başiskele district of Kocaeli, with the participation of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. He wished the factory, which is one of the new generation production bases of the country’s industry with its innovative and renewable energy applications and digital infrastructure, to be beneficial.
Kacir emphasized that in 21 years, the country has achieved centuries-old gains and progressed in industry and technology, as well as in education, health, transportation, under the leadership of President Erdogan, and noted that $240 billion of the exports, which increased from $36 billion to $254 billion, consisted of industrial products.
Referring to the increase in exports in the sectors, Kacir said, “Of course, this tremendous breakthrough did not happen spontaneously. The fact that the Turkish private sector stood together with our state, and that our President did not leave any geography or country untouched, together with our business people, brought this export success to Turkiye. From planned industrialization to energy investments, railways and ports, investments that connect industry with the world made these export successes possible. Economic stability reinforced by political stability paved the way for investments.”
Pointing out that the automotive industry is experiencing four major revolutions simultaneously, Kacir explained that the decrease in battery costs per kilowatt-hour from $1200 in 2010 to $150 today and the fight against climate change becoming a joint effort have enabled the spread of electric vehicles.
“Turkiye is more ready for major transformations than ever before in history”
Stating that sensor, communication and artificial intelligence technologies have made vehicles autonomous, Kacir said that the sector has stepped into a transformation similar to the one experienced in aviation with UAVs, that connected and smart vehicles have become widespread, and that vehicles have become devices that communicate with environmental elements and each other.
Pointing out that the sharing economy has become widespread, Kacir said, “Direct vehicle ownership is being replaced by platform memberships with vehicle pools. Profitability in the sector is shifting from traditional areas such as vehicle sales, after-sales services and insurance services to new business areas such as shared mobility and digital services. For the Turkish automotive industry, which currently has an annual production capacity of 2 million, 31 vehicle production facilities, and 1100 supplier companies, these major revolutions pose challenges on the one hand, and offer unique opportunities on the other hand.”
Kacir stated that we are at a stage where brands, companies and countries that cannot keep up with innovation will be eliminated and those that lead innovation will grow, and continued as follows:
“Turkiye is more ready than ever before for such major transformations with the R&D and innovation ecosystem that we have built virtually from scratch in the last 20 years. Today, more than 9,800 companies are innovating in our 101 technoparks. We have over 1600 R&D and design centers in the private sector. Our total R&D human resources increased from 29 thousand to 222 thousand. The increase in our intellectual property capacity was the most obvious indicator of the development in this field. In Turkiye, where only 414 patent applications are made per year, that is, almost 1 patent application per day, now more than 9 thousand patent applications are made per year. Perhaps one of the most pleasing aspects of this development is that the private sector is leading R&D in today’s Turkiye. The share of our companies in R&D expenditures, which increased from $1.2 billion to $11.3 billion, increased from 29% to 61%.”
Emphasizing that they did not abandon Turkiye’s automobile to a fate similar to the fate that the revolution automobile experienced 62 years ago, Kacir said, “We have put on the roads the ‘automobile of the era’, in the words of our President, the naturally electric and smart car Togg, which carries the transformation in mobility in its DNA.”
“We encourage all investors to turn to innovative technologies in R&D and investment projects.”
Kacir noted that they encourage all investors producing in Turkiye, such as Ford Otosan, to turn to innovative technologies in their R&D and investment projects.
Kacir stated that they ensured the establishment of fast charging stations in all cities in order to popularize electric vehicles, and that they reached more than 10 thousand public charging connections, 2 thousand 800 of which are fast charging, in 81 cities. He stated that they support projects for new generation automotive technologies, from smart cameras to chip technologies, from battery system components to driving support systems, with the initiative program.
Kacir pointed out that with the steps they will take, they will increase the market share of electric vehicles in the country to 35% and the localization rate of electric vehicles to over 75% in 2030. He stated that they will be the leader in Europe and among the top 5 in the world in the production of electric, connected and autonomous light and heavy commercial vehicles.
Underlining that they will make Turkiye a battery production base with battery module, component and cell investments, Kacir continued his words as follows:
“We will be one of the top 10 countries that develop and export connected and autonomous vehicle software, especially cyber security, driving safety and driver behavior modeling software. We are in talks with many automobile brands that do not yet have investments in our country to invest in Turkiye. As Europe’s leader in commercial vehicle production and one of the automotive production bases, we offer direct access to a huge market with a population of 1 billion, thanks to the Customs Union and trade agreements. Logistical opportunities, where we utilize the advantages of our geography in the most effective way, create unique opportunities for investors. Qualified and hard-working workforce is this country’s greatest asset.”
Kacir pointed out that Ford Otosan is one of the companies that makes the best use of the opportunities Turkiye offers, and said: He stated that the company, which reached the level of $6.2 billion in 2022 with vehicle and parts exports to 94 countries, has been the “export champion” in all industrial sectors of Turkiye for the last 8 years.
Kacir stated that Ford Otosan carries out 69% of commercial vehicle production and 75% of exports in Turkiye. He said that Ford Otosan also got its share from the tremendous development experienced in all sectors from 2002 to 2022, and that Ford Otosan, which exported 31 thousand vehicles in 2002, increased this number to over 300 thousand in 2022.
“Our entrepreneurs will always be our crown jewel”
Kacir stated that Ford Otosan employs more than 15 thousand workers, 2 thousand of whom are R&D employees, and said:
“Mr. President, with your esteemed discretion, Ford Otosan, with its 2 billion euro investment plan, which we support with the industrial zone application and offer project-based investment incentives, will increase its total production capacity in Turkiye from 450 thousand to 650 thousand annually, and will launch electric versions of all commercial vehicles produced in Turkiye with a zero emission target.
Yenikoy Factory, where more than 3,500 people have been employed so far, will be an important center to achieve these goals. Ford Otosan will also produce Volkswagen’s new generation 1-ton commercial vehicle in this facility, within the scope of the strategic partnership of Ford and Volkswagen. I would like to express my gratitude to the Ford Otosan family, which adds value to Turkiye.”
Underlining that they will always continue to pave the way for investors under the leadership of President Erdogan and to remove any obstacles in front of them, Kacir said, “Our workers who add value to this country with their minds and sweat, and our entrepreneurs who believe and trust in Turkiye will always be our crowning glory.”
Source: Trthaber / Prepared by Irem Yildiz