By Abdulselam Durdak
GEBZE, Turkey (AA) - The foundation stone for Turkey's first domestic car plant will be laid in May with construction expected to take a year, its CEO said Tuesday.
Gurcan Karakas of Turkey’s Automobile Joint Venture Group (TOGG) said at a news conference in the country's industrial province of Kocaeli that the factory will start mass production in 2022 with an annual capacity of 175,000 units.
The smart plant will be set up in the city of Gemlik, northwestern province of Bursa.
"The project plan is ready. We want to have an iconic design spread over two buildings. We are in talks with the best companies of the world for issues related to the production line."
"We aim to produce one million electric vehicles by 2032," he said, adding in 2022 the TOGG will be the highest paid-up capital automative company in Turkey.
He added for the first time the forerunner model C-SUV will be displayed in the Mobile World Congress (MWC) slated for February in Barcelona.
He also noted charging infrastructure for the cars will be built across Turkey.
"The market for vehicles with an internal combustion engine will decrease below 50% in 2030, meaning that more than 50% of the car market will be electric."
In June 2018, five industrial giants: the Anadolu Group, BMC, Kok Group, Turkcell and Zorlu Holding as well as an umbrella organization, the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey, joined hands to create TOGG.
TOGG will produce five different models -- SUV, sedan, c-hatchback, b-SUV and b-MPV -- until 2030 and own their intellectual and industrial property rights.
The factory's cost is expected to reach 22 billion Turkish liras ($3.7 billion). It will employ 4,323 staff, including 300 qualified personnel.
TOGG's electric vehicle platform, designed by TOGG engineers completely for all five models, will be original and patented.
The platform will provide a structure for maximum efficiency, comfort, durability and safety.
The indigenous car will also be supported by the government with tax discounts and incentives.
*Writing and contributions from Aysu Bicer in Ankara