Fiat planning Turkish-made car, CEO says image

Sergio Marchionne, the CEO of Italian carmaker Fiat Auto SpA, said the company was planning production of a Turkish-made car at the Bursa plant, according to reports from Turkish media.

The Vatan daily newspaper reported Marchionne as saying at the North American International Auto Show that progress had been made on the issue in talks with Turkish prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The leader has been pushing lately for a fully Turkish-made car. The newspaper added that the new model would be based on the Fiat Albea, which is being discontinued in other countries, and will be destined only for the local market.

The Albea is made in Turkey by the Tofas joint venture of Fiat and Turkish industrial conglomerate Koc Holding. Tofas is jointly owned by Fiat and Koc Holding (37.8% of the company’s shares belong to Fiat Group Automobiles, 37.8% to Koç Holding and 24.3% to others).

According to Tofas CEO Ali Pandir, Fiat would provide the technological infrastructure for the vehicle. Estimated initial production will be 200,000 units a year. Tofas currently makes several Fiat models under license, including the Palio, Albea, Doblo, Linea and Qubo. It also builds the Fiorino and its derivatives: the Peugeot Bipper, Citroen Nemo and Opel Combo.