Milliyet – Turkey’s leading automotive manufacturer, the Turkish-Italian JV Tofas, has announced plans to export a Doblo-based light commercial vehicle (LCV) model to the North American market.
The popular Doblo model, currently in production at Tofas Bursa plant, will undergo modifications and upgrades for the North American market, requiring an investment of EUR 268 million, according to a statement made by the company to the Public Disclosure Platform of Borsa Istanbul. The vehicles to be shipped to US and Canadian markets will be rebranded as Ram Promaster City, with the first shipments beginning by the second half of the next year. Tofas plans to export 175,000 vehicles to the US and Canada until 2021.
Established by Koc Holding and Italy’s Fiat, Tofas is Turkey’s largest automotive manufacturer with a production capacity of 400,000 vehicles per year. The company’s Doblo line is being exported to over 80 countries worldwide. The decision to introduce a variant of the Doblo to the North American market came after Fiat’s acquisition of stakes in the US automaker Chrysler which has led to more European-manufactured Fiat models heading to North America.
The rebranded Doblo will rival another Turkish-made light van in the North American market, Ford Otosan’s Transit Connect. Also partnered by Koc Holding, Ford’s Turkish division has been exporting variants of the Transit commercial vehicle model to the North American market since 2009.