President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who attended the opening ceremony of the Ford Otosan Yeniköy Factory in Kocaeli, said in his speech: "I consider steps such as the investment we opened here today as the fruits of the Turkish Century that have already emerged." he said.
President Erdoğan wished that Ford Otosan Yeniköy Factory, with which they experienced the excitement of starting production in 2014 and witnessed capacity growth in 2021 with an additional investment, would be beneficial for the group, the city and the economy.
Emphasizing that Ford Otosan's Kocaeli factories, whose capacity increased from 110 thousand to 405 thousand with investments in special industrial zone status and provided new employment for 3 thousand 500 people, became the largest commercial vehicle production facility in Europe with the officially opened investment, President Erdoğan said:
“This facility in Yeniköy, which is a reflection of the engineering and production power of the world brand Ford, deserves the title of factory of the future with its many pioneering features. This facility, which will make a significant contribution to our country's production and export power, stands out with its ability to produce both internal combustion and electric vehicles. Yeniköy, the factory of the future, will host the production of the new generation Transit Custom, as well as the electric Transit and Volkswagen's one-ton commercial vehicle. “I hope that the new version of Transit Custom, Europe's best-selling van class vehicle, will be beneficial to its customers in our country and around the world.”
“We did not discriminate between domestic and foreign capital”
President Erdoğan said that Ford Otosan, which has increased its total production capacity to 720 thousand with its factories in Gölcük, Eskişehir and Romania, as well as Yeniköy, and pioneered innovations with its research and development center in Sancaktepe, where 2 thousand people work, continues to be the pride of the Turkish automotive industry. .
Stating that, like all other sectors, they have always supported Ford Otosan, as do all investors who produce and export in this land, create added value and create employment in the automotive industry, President Erdoğan said, “We have not discriminated between domestic and foreign capital until today, and we have not allowed this to happen.” we didn't. During my term as Prime Minister and President, we supported every investment initiated by Ford Otosan and stood by it in every step it took. We are pleased to see that Ford Otosan, which announced a new investment program of 2,5 billion dollars approximately 2 years ago, is implementing this plan step by step.” he said.
"We rose to the 13th place in automotive production"
President Erdoğan stated that Ford Otosan produces 69 percent of Turkey's commercial vehicle production and 75 percent of its commercial vehicle exports and said:
“It is a source of pleasure for us to see the use of Ford light commercial vehicles and parts produced in Turkey in 94 different countries of the world. I also congratulate Ford Otosan, which maintained its title as the export champion of the automotive industry by reaching a total export figure of 6,2 billion dollars last year, for this success. The fact that we have risen from 5th to 15th in the world rankings in automotive production in 13 years shows that we are moving in the right direction. Moreover, we achieved this success despite the successive global crises. "Last year, our automotive exports had a foreign trade surplus of over 9 billion dollars."
President Erdoğan emphasized that, as Turkey, they are determined to maintain the production and export power they have achieved by rapidly adapting to the technological changes in the automotive production market.
President Erdoğan said, “We attach special importance to investments that will enable us to have a say in the exponentially growing production of electric and hybrid vehicles. The interest in electric vehicles is increasing in our country, as well as all over the world. A total of 7 million electric vehicles are expected to be sold in the world this year, 3 million of which are in China, 2 million in Europe and 14 million in America.” said.
Stating that it is understood that the competition in this field will gradually intensify with the entry of existing companies and new actors into the market, President Erdoğan said, "As Turkey, we are on the way to having a rapidly developing electric vehicle market, with the interest triggered by Togg's arrival on the roads." he said.
“Our goal is to make our country one of the world's leading players in electric vehicle and battery production.” President Erdoğan said, “As a country that has already reached a production capacity of 70 gigabytes per hour in electric vehicle batteries, we are determined to become the battery production base of Europe by 2030 at the latest.” he said.
In this context, President Erdoğan stated that they followed the moves made by the Ford Otosan group in electric vehicle technology with appreciation and said, "I believe that the step taken by Ford Otosan with Turkey's first electric commercial vehicle E-Transit, which was released from the production line in April last year, will continue." said.
Stating that he has no doubt that Ford Otosan will continue to be the flagship of the country in the production and sales of electric commercial vehicles, just like in internal combustion commercial vehicles, President Erdoğan continued as follows:
“We will continue to follow Ford's electric vehicle and battery investment program closely and support you wherever needed. In fact, it is obvious that companies that cannot adapt themselves to new developments in the automotive industry will have difficulty surviving after a while, no matter how deep their roots go.”
President Erdoğan stated that Ford Otosan has proven that it continues its path with the determination to maintain its leadership in the sector in the next century with its investments in the innovative technologies of the future, and congratulated everyone who contributed to bringing this beautiful factory to the country.
Underlining that the global economy has been struggling with serious difficulties and the biggest crises of the last century for the last 2-3 years, President Erdoğan said, “The Russia-Ukraine War broke out before we had fully recovered from the effects of the Covid-19 epidemic, which deeply shook the whole world. Along with the war, problems related to energy and food prices were added to the disruptions in the supply chain. Accordingly, inflation rates in many countries have reached their highest levels in the last 60-70 years.” said.
President Erdoğan cut the ribbon
In addition to President Erdoğan, Minister of Industry and Technology Mehmet Fatih Kacır, Chairman of the Turkish Grand National Assembly Industry, Trade, Energy, Natural Resources, Information and Technology Commission Mustafa Varank, AK Party Deputy Chairman Ali İhsan Yavuz, Ford Otosan Chairman of the Board of Directors and Koç Holding attended the ceremony. Holding Deputy Chairman of the Board of Directors Ali Koç, Ford Pro Europe General Manager Hans Schep and Ford Otosan General Manager Güven Özyurt also attended.
In the program, which started with the reading of the National Anthem, an image of Ford Otosan was shown.
Vehicles produced in Ford Otosan's Yeniköy Factory were also introduced in the program.
After President Erdoğan completed his speech, the participants cut the ribbon for the opening of the factory. President Erdoğan said during the ribbon cutting, "I hope we will be together in the production of battery facilities from now on." said.
Ali Koç took the test drive of the new Ford Transit Custom
After the ribbon cutting, participants and factory employees took a souvenir photo.
After the photo shoot, protocol members toured the factory.
After the ceremony, Ali Koç took the test drive of the electric Ford Transit Custom. During the test drive, President Erdoğan also sat in the passenger seat.