Turkey says local car prototype will be produced next year

Turkish Industry and Technology Minister Mustafa Varank said a prototype of a long-awaited, locally-made car will be produced next year.

The “Turkey Car Project” constitutes an important milestone for the country as it seeks to develop and produce more medium and high-tech products, Varank told parliament on Monday, according to Sabah newspaper. The project was first announced more than seven years ago by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

Varank’s comments coincided with the publication of a report by the Automotive Manufacturers Association (OSD) on Monday which showed a 76 percent annual slump in car sales in October. The market for motor vehicles in Turkey is shrinking fast as an economic downturn hits consumer and business demand.

The production and sale of a wholly-locally produced car in Turkey is one of the main targets of the government’s 2023 programme to mark the country’s centenary year. A canal designed to circumvent the Bosporus straits in Istanbul is also a key element of the plan, as is rendering Turkey one of the ten largest economies in the world.