Volkswagen plant brings hope to Turkey’s western province of Manisa
Excitement is soaring for the residents of Turkey’s western province of Manisa after it was reported that German car manufacturer Volkswagen had picked the province as the location of a new $1.5 billion factory, pro-government Yeni Şafak newspaper reported on Friday.
In June, German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung reported that the automotive company was in talks with Turkey to spend as much as $2.3 million on a factory in the country.
Business news site bne Intellinews reported on Monday that Turkey beat out the other lead contender, Hungary, despite higher labour costs, because Volkswagen wished to tap Turkey’s large domestic market for cars. The deal will be inked in September of October this year, it said.
Investment costs are estimated at between 1.3 billion euros ($1.5 billion) and 2 billion euros, FAZ said. The Turkish government has reportedly offered a support of 100 million euros.
Yeni Şafak said the new factory will provide employment to at least 5,000 people. It said Volkswagen was in talks with Turkish authorities for social facilities, residential areas, and training buildings.
Ayberk Aloğlu, the head of Aegean Exporters’ Association, told Yeni Şafak that the Volkswagen’s investment would particularly help the region to increase the number of its skilled labourers.
“Manisa will see a significant number of semi-qualified workers. We have to ensure that not only blue collar workers but also white collar ones are present in Manisa,” Aloğlu said.
Reşit Ürper, the head of Manisa’s Conservative Turkish Independent Industrialists and Businessmen Association (MUSIAD), said the province hosted several international companies and Volkswagen would face no problems in production.
“I invite all politicians, professional and civil society organisation to support the province over Volkswagen’s choice to bring its investment to Manisa,” he said.