ISTANBUL, July 26 — Putrajaya has offered Ankara today its expertise in producing national automobiles, citing its own success with marques such as Proton and Perodua.
Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said the national automotive companies have succeeded in obtaining technology transfers through their own collaboration with major manufacturers.
“Turkey should have its own motor car. Since, I see a lot of cars on its roads,” Dr Mahathir said in a roundtable session with Turkish captains of industry here.
“If you are interested, we’d be happy to collaborate,” he added.
Dr Mahathir has been pushing for a third national car project, ever since a visit to Japan in June last year, to drive the manufacturing sector and transfer of technology.
Although there has been criticism on the project, Entrepreneur Development Minister Mohd Redzuan Yusof announced in August that the government was set to launch the third national car project by 2020.
Turkey is among the world’s top 10 manufacturers of automobiles, mostly of foreign marques such as Fiat, Renault, Hyundai, Toyota, Honda and Ford.
However in 2017, its president Recep Tayyip Erdogan had announced his ambition for Turkey to produce its first domestic car by 2021, naming five firms that would form the consortium for the venture: BMC, Anadolu Group, Kiraca Holding, Vestel, and Turkcell.
There has been no reported development yet over the project.
Earlier in the roundtable, Dr Mahathir explained that Malaysia is keen to collaborate with Turkish firms in three sectors including automotive, with an ambition to become a regional hub for energy-efficient vehicles.
The other two sectors were aerospace, as it aims to become a leading producer in Asean by 2030, and manufacturing and engineering.
Dr Mahathir also touted Malaysia’s position to be a gateway to the South-East Asian region for Turkish companies, that would offer them a market of around 650 million people.