Ford Turkey close in on deal to man­u­fac­ture Volk­swa­gen minibuses

Daily Sabah (Turkey) - - Money -

gi­ant Ford’s Turk­ish man­u­fac­turer Ford Otosan and Ger­man car­maker Volk­swa­gen have been in talks for a strate­gic part­ner­ship that would see the lat­ter move the pro­duc­tion of some of its com­mer­cial ve­hi­cle mod­els to Ford plants in Turkey.

Alper Kanca, the chair­man of the Ve­hi­cles Pro­cure­ment In­dus­tri­al­ists As­so­ci­a­tion (TAYSAD), said that Volk­swa­gen is close to an agree­ment with Ford Otosan on pro­duc­ing minibuses in Turkey.

Kanca said Volk­swa­gen minibuses would be pro­duced at the Turk­ish fac­tory that pro­duces Ford Tran­sit. He added that this will change many things, es­pe­cially the per­cep­tion of many Ger­mans.

He added that the Turk­ish gov­ern­ment needs to pro­vide some spe­cial in­cen­tives to this end. “The pub­lic needs to be sen­si­tive about this is­sue. We want to bring a Ger­man car fac­tory to Turkey.”

He said that all the stake­hold­ers in the au­to­mo­tive in­dus­try need to work to­gether to bring in in­vest­ments. “This should not be a po­lit­i­cal de­ci­sion. Turkey, in terms of econ­omy, is the right des­ti­na­tion for this in­vest­ment,” he added.

As part of the part­ner­ship, Volk­swa­gen’s com­mer­cial ve­hi­cles Crafter and Trans­porter might be pro­duced at the Ford Turkey plant in the Mar­mara district of Göl­cük, where Ford man­u­fac­tures its Tran­sit and Cus­tom mod­els.

Sources in the sec­tor said the VW Trans­porter, which is the equiv­a­lent of Ford Cus­tom, and Ford Tran­sit’s VW equiv­a­lent Crafter, will be man­u­fac­tured on the Ford assem­bly line. VW is ex­pected to shift the man­u­fac­tur­ing of 150,000 to 180,000 com­mer­cial ve­hi­cles per year to Turkey.

Ford Turkey is Europe’s largest com­mer­cial ve­hi­cle pro­duc­tion base, mak­ing around 440,000 ve­hi­cles and 75,000 en­gines last year. The com­pany has a 67 per­cent share in Turkey’s to­tal com­mer­cial ve­hi­cle pro­duc­tion.

In 2017, Turk­ish car mak­ing plants man­u­fac­tured 552,825 com­mer­cial ve­hi­cles. Dur­ing the Jan­uary-Novem­ber pe­riod, the car­mak­ers pro­duced some 1.42 mil­lion ve­hi­cles.

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