Ford Turkey close in on deal to manufacture Volkswagen minibuses
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.