The Turkish public is witnessing another milestone: The long-anticipated opening of a massive manufacturing plant that will be building the country’s first domestic car brand.
The opening ceremony in the northwestern province of Bursa on Saturday, coinciding with the 99th anniversary of the Turkish Republic, marks the official start of the mass production for the car that is expected to hit the road in the coming months.
The event, which has also seen Togg’s first all-electric SUV being rolled off the assembly line, puts Türkiye and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan closer to fulfilling a long-held dream of building the country’s first national automobile.
The Turkish leader has long pushed industrialists to build a domestic automobile as part of his vision for making Türkiye an economic powerhouse.
The vehicle is being produced by a consortium of five Turkish companies called the Automobile Initiative Group of Türkiye, or Togg, in cooperation with the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Türkiye (TOBB).
Construction of Togg’s engineering, design and production facilities began in mid-2020, almost two years after President Erdoğan unveiled the consortium, which is led by former tech-giant Bosch executive Mehmet Gürcan Karakaş.
The plant has been built on an area of 1.2 million square meters (12.92 million square feet) in Bursa’s Gemlik district.
Bursa is dubbed the country’s automotive capital as it is home to manufacturing facilities of many foreign brands, including the Turkish-French joint venture Oyak Renault and Tofaş, a joint venture of Türkiye’s Koç Holding and Italian-American carmaker Fiat Chrysler.
In December 2019, Erdoğan unveiled SUV and sedan prototypes of Togg, both fully electric and C-segment models.
The SUV is expected to hit the market in the first quarter of 2023 and will be the first electric sport utility vehicle produced in continental Europe by a nontraditional manufacturer.
Togg will be manufacturing five different models – SUV, sedan, C-hatchback, B-SUV and B-MPV – through 2030. Mass production of the SUV will be followed by the sedan.
The brand aims to produce 1 million vehicles across five different segments by 2030.
The car was designed by Italy’s Pininfarina design company, which has created models for Ferrari and California-based electric carmaker Karma.
Togg has opted for advanced lithium-ion battery technology company Farasis as its business partner for the battery. The homegrown car is expected to reach 80% charge in under 30 minutes with fast charging. It will have a range of between 300 kilometers to 500 kilometers (186 miles to 310 miles).
The track tests showed it will take the car about 7.6 seconds to accelerate from zero to 100 km/h with 200 horsepower, and under 4.8 seconds with a 400-horsepower engine.
The Togg consortium is Türkiye’s second effort to produce a Turkish-made automobile. During the 1960s, a group of Turkish engineers built prototypes of a car called Devrim, or Revolution in English. The project was later abandoned, Daily Sabah reports.
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