President Erdogan tests the country's first fully homebred electric SUV, which will be on the market by 2022.
Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan unveiled on Friday the country's first homebred automobile prototype, saying it will realise the country's long-time dream.
Speaking at the launch ceremony of the automobile in the industrial province of Kocaeli, Erdogan said, "today, we are witnessing an historic day in which we achieve Turkey's 60-year dream together."
Stating that over 100 Turkish engineers worked on the project, he said: "We don't buy a license or permission from anyone, we determine all the technical features ourselves."
The SUV will be the first car to be certified 'Made in Turkey' and is expected to hit the roads by 2022. Turkey's Automobile Joint Venture Group, also known as TOGG, says at least five models will be released by 2030.
Erdogan stressed Turkey will deter all efforts to hinder the production of its own car.
"They managed to hinder the production of Devrim [Turkey's first homegrown car] but they will not be able to hinder this automobile," he added.
Following his speech, a red SUV model of the car and another grey sedan one were raised onto the stage, sporting the TOGG label of the consortium that is building them.
Turkey first attempted to produce its own car in 1961, the Devrim [Revolution], but it never made it past the prototype stage.
"Turkey is not only a market for new technologies but has become a country that develops, produces and exports them all over the world," Erdogan said.
The Turkish president said that the factory for Turkey's first car will open in Gemlik district of the northwestern Bursa province.
The automobile "will not pollute the environment by working with zero-emission technology", he said.
Production facilities for the first Turkish indigenous automobile, which also happens to be electric, will open in the country's northwestern city of Bursa, with over 4,000 people expected to be employed.
#TürkiyeninOtomobili'ni test ettik.— Recep Tayyip Erdoğan (@RTErdogan) December 27, 2019
İnşallah 2022 yılında otomobilimizin seri üretime geçmesiyle birlikte on yıllar boyunca kurmuş olduğumuz hayallere kavuşmuş olacağız.#YeniliğeYolculuk pic.twitter.com/MPq3dX4EQQ
Car to come up in five models
Erdogan placed an advance order for the car and later sat behind the wheel of one of the cars. The two models unveiled on Friday are red and white, signifying the Turkish flag.
In June 2018, five Turkish industry giants – Anadolu Group, BMC, Kok Group, Turkcell and Zorlu Holding, as well as an umbrella organisation, the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey – joined hands to manufacture an indigenous car.
Turkey has mobilised more than $126 million to fund innovation and regional development, according to the country's industry and technology minister.
The electric car will have five models, with 175,000 units produced in a year.
Turkey is already a big exporter to Europe of cars made domestically by firms such as Ford, Fiat Chrysler, Renault, Toyota, and Hyundai .
The new project, launched in October, will receive state support such as tax breaks, and establish a production facility in Bursa, according to a presidential decision in the country's Official Gazette.
The project is expected to cost 22 billion lira ($3.7 billion) over 13 years.
Five models of the car will be produced, the statement said, adding the government had guaranteed to buy 30,000 of the vehicles by 2035.