FP: Canadian Magna to boost presence in Turkey

Financial Post (Canada) - Canadian auto supplier Magna International Inc. plans to expand its presence in Turkey, part of a growing push by manufacturers into car-hungry Eastern Europe as auto sales stall further west. Company spokeswoman Tracy Fuerst confirmed the Aurora, Ont.-based auto-parts giant intends to buy land in Turkey. She declined to say how much Magna would spend on the expansion. Press reports in Turkey have given figures in the range of $400-million to $500-million. "This move is a result of our strategy to expand our manufacturing presence in southeastern Europe," Ms. Fuerst said. "Turkey was selected primarily due to the existence of a supplier infrastructure and functioning logistics, as well as strong market potential for the region's automotive sector." Automakers in Turkey alone will have the capacity to build 1.44 million light vehicles by 2010, a 26% increase from the 1.14-million unit capacity in 2007, according to PwC Automotive Institute. Turkey is a good production base for the European market because its labour costs are much lower than in the European Union and Turkish workers are highly qualified, Markus Gran, a Magna Steyr executive, told.