According to the French automaker’s Eurasia chief, Renault could rethink its investment strategy for Turkey if the current labor unrest, which has brought a halt at the company’s Oyak Renault joint venture is a signal of instability.
Tofas, a local automaker that handles production duties for Italy’s Fiat, Ford’s local division Ford Otosan and Oyak Renault had to cease vehicle production output in Turkey because of an expanding labor clash that has impacted deliveries from their suppliers. Ford Otosan was ready to restart production on Wednesday at 13.00 GMT after the previous day they had to shut down their two assembly facilities in northwestern Turkey. “If we see instability coming we will reconsider our investment,” told reporters Renault’s Jean Christophe Kugler on the sidelines of the Istanbul Autoshow. He added the French automaker believed Turkey to be a key market that Renault would treat as a long-term asset, but the current dispute was coming up as a threat for the country and also the global automotive industry – with Turkey being a crucial automotive parts manufacturing production base.
The Turkish Industry Minister Fikri Isik also commented during the auto show that he believed auto production should be resumed immediately and the workers plea for better payments and conditions could be discussed without hurting manufacturing output. “This situation harms Turkey in various areas including exports… These demands can be discussed while production continues,” commented the official. The labor action has expanded to numerous auto parts suppliers that are gathered in the northwestern city of Bursa, the Turkish auto industry hub.