Turkey eyes becoming auto production hub with new investments
Turkey could be an automotive production base, State Minister for Foreign Trade Zafer Caglayan said yesterday. Speaking on the sidelines of the Frankfurt Auto Show, he said that Germany, situated in the heart of Europe, could also be a logistic distribution base. "When we join Turkey and Germany's forces, we can become a bigger exporter," Caglayan added. He said that leading French automaker Peugeot plans to soon make a major investment in Turkey. In 2008 Turkey earned some $2.8 billion from automotive exports to Germany, and imported German auto products worth $4.2 billion. In related news, a Chinese auto company is looking to get access to world markets via Turkey, Industry and Trade Minister Nihat Ergun said yesterday at the fair. He said that Chinese firm Chery wants to make investments of $500 million in Turkey. Two Chery executives visited the northwestern province of Sakarya in January to get land for a factory. Founded in 1997, Chery produced its first car in December 1999. As of late 2006, Chery exported its product to 67 countries and regions, and had factories in six countries, including Russia, Iran, Egypt, and Indonesia. In addition, Japanese carmaker Toyota has asked Ankara for a tax cut on its green Prius model set to go on sale in Turkey next month. Commenting on the request, Ergun said that the government would consider the environmental effects of cars in its tax policy, with an eye to encouraging the use of environmentally friendly cars.