Turkey leading contender for VW investment

Dünya Executive - - BUSINESS - AYSEL YUCEL

The Turkish automotive industry received a boost in recent weeks after Volkswagon (VW) announced two substantia­l investment plans in Turkey. This comes after a drought of more than two decades in which the industry struggled to attract new investment­s. First came the news about VW’s potential cooperatio­n with Ford to make room for an electric model in its existing factories and that it will produce the Transporte­r model at Ford Otosan’s Golcuk plant instead of in Germany. Then came news that VW is planning to invest in a new factory for its Skoda and Seat brands and Turkey is among the possible locations, along with Bulgaria and Romania.

Industry insiders believe Turkey is the strongest contender for the new factory if political decisions do not overshadow economic decisions.

Ali Bilaloglu, Chairman of Dogus Otomotiv, VW’s Turkey distributo­r, said Turkey is the best equipped candidate by far while the Turkish Associatio­n of Automotive Suppliers (TAYSAD) President, Alper Kanca, believes that the investment has been nearly finalized.

Kanca said that economical­ly Turkey is the right place for VW’s Skoda investment and other options may only be possible if there is political or social pressure. “Therefore, I think that the investment for both the Transporte­r and Skoda models is about to be finalized in Turkey’s favor. If we can achieve this without political interventi­on, we will all make a big step forward. VW’s decision can signal a positive developmen­t in German-Turkish economic relations, which have been under the shadow of political relations for two years.”

Prejud ces rema n

According to a survey conducted two months ago of 150 German automotive executives, Kanca noted how companies that have not invested in Turkey remain skeptical of the country’s potential while those that have invested report positive experience­s. “If the final investment decision will be announced in November 2019, as the German news agency DPA reported, this will increase our attractive­ness. Thus, we will have more time to completely eliminate negative perception­s,” Kanca said.

Bulgar an and Roman an med a addressed Turkey

Automobilw­oche, Germany’s leading automotive publicatio­n, reported on December 8 that Turkey would be receiving the investment. A week later, the German news agency, DPA, said VW will announce its final decision for the factory in November 2019 and that Bulgaria and Romania are among the candidate countries. However, despite DPA’s news, Bulgarian and Romanian media noted that the strongest candidate is Turkey. “The investment is going to Turkey, not Romania” the Romanian press conceded.

According to industry insiders, the Ministry of Industry is continuing talks with the relevant institutio­ns to bring the investment to Turkey.

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