Turkey has recruited an executive from German supplier Robert Bosch to lead its effort to establish a domestic car brand.
Five Turkish companies have formed a joint venture called Turkey's Automobile Initiative Group, the Daily Sabah reported.
Bosch executive Mehmet Gurcan Karaka will take over the consortium on Sept. 1, the newspaper said. The Turkish-born mechanical engineer led Bosch's Turkish subsidiary between 2004 and 2007, according to the Stuttgarter Zeitung. He was also the divisional director in charge of electrical drives and worked at Bosch’s Buhlertal, Germany, facility.
"You can be sure that Turkey will produce a brand that is competitive in the global environment," Karaka was quoted as saying.
The new Turkish brand will start out with an full-electric car. Three models are due to be built on a single platform.
The Turkish government intends to press ahead with the expansion of the country’s charging infrastructure.
Five companies are members of the consortium: The Anadolu Group, the Turkish-Qatari company BMC, Turkey’s mobile wireless company Turkcell, Zorlu Holding and the Kok Group. The Turkish Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges (TOBB) is coordinating the project.
Turkey's earlier attempts to build its own cars fared poorly. The Anadol brand previously sold a few models in cooperation with Ford. In addition, sales of a slightly modified Fiat were phased out in 2003. Dubbed the Tofas Murat, it was sold solely in the Turkish market.
There is already an order for the newest Turkish car, however.
"We will build a Turkish car with the best design and the best technology, for our country and for the world. I want to own the first car, and I will pay for it, of course," said Turkey's President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Turkey has purchased the license to the Saab 9-3 from National Electric Vehicle Sweden but it's not clear whether the consortium still plans to use the car as a base.