5/11/2009

Turkish carmaker Tofas to invest in R&D activities in 2009

AA – The Turkish automobile manufacturer Tofas, a joint venture between Italy's Fiat and Turkey's Koc Holding, will invest around EUR 300 million this year in its new research and development (R&D) activities, as well as new products, despite the economic crisis, said the company's CEO on Friday. "We are assessing designs of our new products to be released in 2013 or 2014," Tofas CEO Ali Pandir stated at a conference on the Turkish automotive industry. "We are working on our long-term plans. For instance, we have cut all of our infrastructure investments; however, we will continue with R&D investments. Maybe it looks a little bit lavish but we have not even cut our investments in a ‘virtual reality’ laboratory," said Pandir. Pandir also said Tofas has been the Turkish carmaker that has best met the booming market demand in Turkey after the government cut tax on motor vehicles in March. "It made us the market leader in April and this year according to the cumulative figures," said Pandir.