Ford mulling passenger car production in Turkey

Hurriyet - Ford Motor Company is considering expanding its auto manufacturing operations in Turkey to include passenger cars, according to William Clay Ford Jr., Executive Chairman of the company. The company emerged as the number one seller of motor vehicles in Turkey last year, selling more than 141,000 vehicles in one of the most successful years in Turkey’s automotive industry in terms of sales and exports.

“Ford regards Turkey as a production base for commercial vehicles and a constant growth market,” said Ford Jr., at the sidelines of the Detroit Motor Show, referring to the Light Commercial Vehicle (LCV) production in Ford’s Turkish plant. When asked about the probability of restarting the production line for passenger vehicles, the Ford executive said that they are considering the move and that it is definitely possible. Ford stopped producing passenger vehicles in Turkey in 1999, and has been focusing solely on commercial vehicle production since then.

President and CEO of Ford Motor Company, Alan Mulally, reiterated Ford Jr.’s comments about passenger car production in Turkey. “Ford is seriously considering passenger car production in Turkey. We are currently assessing the possibilities and opportunities,” he noted.

Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan had called on Ford to increase its investments in Turkey after meeting with Alan Mulally at last year’s Cebit trade fair held in Hannover, Germany.

Ford’s Turkish unit, Ford Otosan, a JV between Turkey’s Koc Group and Ford Motor Company, designs and manufactures various types of LCVs currently marketed in about 50 countries, including the USA, Ford’s home country.

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