2/29/2008

Turkey works to attract plants of Chinese, Indian automakers

Bloomberg - Automakers from China and India may begin building plants in Turkey in as soon as two years as a way to enter the European market, a Turkish official said. “Turkey is now in serious discussions'' with companies from both nations, Alpaslan Korkmaz, president of the country's Investment Support and Promotion Agency, said in an telephone interview today from Dearborn, Michigan. "They are looking at it as a way to penetrate Europe.'' Delegations from Chinese and Indian automakers have visited Turkey, he said, without identifying the companies. Asked if such companies may build plants in Turkey within five years, Korkmaz said: “Before that, in two to four years.” China and India are among the world's fastest-expanding markets for cars and trucks, and automakers in those countries are looking to expand. India's Tata Motors Ltd. is negotiating with Ford Motor Co. to acquire the U.K.-based Jaguar and Land Rover luxury-vehicle units. Turkey began talks in October 2005 for membership in the European Union. Korkmaz said the country wants plants that produce “EU compatible” vehicles. Turkey's vehicle production rose to 1.1 million units last year from 346,565 in 2002. Korkmaz was in Dearborn to make a presentation for companies interested in investing in Turkey. His agency reports to the country's prime minister.

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