2/4/2011

Turkish-made auto boom has Ford and Karsan vie for Manhattan cabs

Bloomberg - Carmakers in Turkey drove economic growth that rivaled China’s last year, exporting in record numbers across Europe and the Middle East. Now they want to drive New Yorkers, with two of the three finalists for the “Taxi of Tomorrow” competition being Turkish-made cabs.

Ford Motor Co.’s unit near Istanbul and Karsan Otomotiv Sanayii A.S., which is offering a moon roof to watch the Manhattan skyline, are vying with Nissan Motor Co. of Japan for the 10-year contract to roll out a fleet of next-generation cabs. It is the first time New York is introducing a uniform fleet.

The entry of Turkish firms caps a decade in which the country’s once little-known car industry has emerged as a regional powerhouse, more than quadrupling production to overtake Poland and the Czech Republic as a manufacturing base for global brands. Output also surged as Turkish banks not only survived the financial crisis without a government bailout, they approved record amounts of loans to businesses and consumers.

“Turkey has become a hub for light-commercial vehicle production for many global car companies as this segment has grown in popularity,” said Berna Kurbay, an automotive analyst in New York-based BGC Partners’ Istanbul office. “The visibility created with the New York taxi cab could help create a quality image for cars made in Turkey.”
turkey; automotive industry; turkish car maker; karsan; ford-otosan; new york; nyc; taxi of tomorrow