Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdogan has unveiled plans to launch a car made entirely in Turkey by 2021, Reuters reports.
The report says that Erdogan has painted the homegrown car as a long-harbored dream of the Turkish people, and even promised to be the first in line to buy the Turkish car. Turkey is currently an exporter of vehicles from major brands, mainly to Europe, but a home effort will be something else altogether.
Related: Vietnam to Make Its Own Cars
The newswire says that for years, Erdogan’s ruling AK Party has held a goal of bringing about the production of a homegrown car, seeing it as proof of the country’s growing economic might.
Erdogan has announced that a consortium of five firms will be responsible for the Turkish car. The “five brave fellows” include mobile phone operator Turkcell and Zorlu Holding, the parent of home electronics maker Vestel. The other partners are conglomerates Anadolu Holding, Kiraca Holding and the Turkish-Qatari partnership BMC Group.
“We don’t want any delays in this project and we will not tolerate any loss of time. I will be the first customer for the new car, under the condition that I am going to pay for it,” Erdogan declared, adding that a prototype would be completed by 2019 at the latest.
Malaysia’s Proton started off in a similar way, as the concept of a National Car was conceived in 1979 by the then Prime Minister of Malaysia, Mahatir Mohammed. Proton approached Mitsubishi Motors between 1983 and 1984 and brokered a joint venture between both companies for the production of the first ever Malaysian car, the Proton Saga which was launched on 9th July 1985.
It will be interesting to see how Turkey proceeds with a national car, whether it’s going to be any rebadged car or something entirely made within Turkey as analysts believe making a car, and making it profitably, is not an easy task.