The car-making ambition of a veteran empire

A few days ago, a well-known veteran empire across the Eurasian continent officially released the first mass-produced domestic electric vehicle since the country was born. Don’t get it wrong…that veteran empire is Turkey!

The English name of this Turkish electric car is TOGG, which is derived from the abbreviation of Turkish Türkiye’nin Otomobili Girişim Grubu, which translates as: Turkish Automobile Joint Venture.

Many domestic netizens have made the word “earth dog”. At the roll-off ceremony at the end of October, the car was driven off the production line by the current president of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Yes, the birth of this Turkish electric car is inseparable from Erdogan’s hard work and ambition – the TOGG project started in 2018. In 2019, when even the entire vehicle factory was still very unpredictable, it firstly launched two electric prototype cars C-SUV and C-Sedan designed by Pininfarina. Since then, news about TOGG will appear almost every quarter, and almost every time it will be deeply bound to Erdogan.

Until last month, the electric flatbread drawn by Erdogan was finally baked for the first time!

This first Turkish electric vehicle is a typical compact SUV, still designed by Pininfarina. Both the SUV and the entry-level sedan will have a rear-mounted electric motor with a maximum output of 200 hp. The high-performance version will be equipped with dual motor drives, with a total output of 400 horsepower and a cruising range of 500 kilometers. The battery will be supplied by China’s “soft bag king” Fu Neng.

At present, 51% of TOGG’s production parts come from the country – much lower than the expected 75% of the parts to be patented three years ago.

Today, the production capacity of the Turkish electric vehicle is 100,000 units per year. The initial target was to produce 17,000 to 18,000 compact SUVs by 2023, with sales starting by the end of the third quarter. Since then, the annual output has gradually increased, and it is planned to start exporting to other European countries after 15 to 18 months of domestic sales. It is planned to achieve an annual output of one million vehicles by 2030.

If this flatbread is really made, TOGG will launch four flatbreads in the future, no! Four models. Erdogan expects the project to contribute $50 billion to the Turkish economy over the next 15 years.

However, the price of TOGG’s first car and FULL RANGE OF CAR PARTS has not yet been determined, and pre-sale is expected to start in February next year.

The sudden appearance of TOGG in the past two years is actually more like a huge national mission, a special political aid for Erdogan.

Of course, if you really compare Erdogan and Putin, it is estimated that Russians will think that “your brain is not fully developed, and the cerebellum is not fully developed.”

After all, although the land under his jurisdiction also spans the Eurasian continent, in recent years, he has been constantly tossing himself and others. But compared to Russia, which is always full of military virtues, Turkey’s traditional military virtues have basically been cut off since the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, or they were recharged by “accidentally wounding various friendly forces”. Therefore, Turkey has won the reputation of “Husky among dogs, Turkey among countries” on the Internet.

In short, since the middle of the 20th century, Turkey’s unremitting dream operations in military, diplomatic and other aspects have made it completely a miracle that makes most countries in Europe, America, Asia and the three continents “can’t be said to be highly respected, or at least people hate dogs”. country.

It has to be said that Erdogan, who has been in control of Turkey for nearly 10 years, has a very high degree of match with the image of this country. Otherwise, I would not have made such a thunderous oath when I participated in an event in March last year: “Turkey will become the world’s largest production center for electric commercial vehicles and integrated vehicles in the future!” The first time to “intimidate” European powers: “Turkey will sweep Europe with the first domestic car TOGG. People will say ‘crazy Turks are coming’.”

How crazy are the Turks about building their own cars? As early as 60 years ago, it shocked the world – it was the Devrim (meaning “revolution” in the local language) that was born and died in 1961.

This “national car”, which was completely independently designed and developed by the whole country of Turkey, was built with 4 prototypes at that time. It was originally planned to put Devrim into mass production after participating in Turkey’s 38th National Day celebration. Unexpectedly, on the day of the National Day celebration on October 29, 1961, the big gift became a big eye-the Devrim sent to it broke down on the spot after driving only more than 100 meters, and the then-incumbent who had just overthrew the Mandres regime President and Army Commander Jemal Gourcelle was left on the road and became an outright international joke.

Due to this small breakdown, Devrim died on the day of the National Day. The prototype stage has not been completed, and it is unknown whether those engineers have been prepared for the funeral.

More importantly, Devrim directly made the Turks have a very deep psychological shadow on self-made cars. Three years later, Turkey’s largest local industrial group, Koc Group (equivalent to South Korea’s Samsung Group), decided to try again. However, this time, Koc’s old patriarch Vehbi Koc and son Rahmi Koc learned from the previous experience and found the most suitable partner first.

In fact, there is a ready-made partner, that is, Ford.

Because other people’s Otokoç (Ottok) company has been the general generation of Ford in Turkey since the 1920s. Even in 1954, the old Koc went to the United States to visit Henry Ford II with the Zhu Critic of the Turkish Prime Minister Adnan Menderes, and the two sides had a cordial conversation in a friendly atmosphere. After this meeting, the Koc family established the Ford-Ottosan Automobile Company, the largest industrial group in Turkey at that time, ready to fight for Turkey’s car manufacturing business anytime, anywhere.

Unexpectedly, not long after its establishment, it encountered a series of trivial incidents, such as Mandres’ resignation, Devrim’s National Day anchorage, etc., coupled with the industrial base of the country at that time, especially the steel smelting, which belonged to the typical mule and horse kneeling family. Koc could only keep a low profile – until the 1963 Izmir Fair in Turkey, the father and son saw a car made of fiberglass, and their brains were completely opened in an instant.

The car manufacturer behind this car is Reliant Motor, a British old-fashioned music manufacturer that has made countless people afraid – once regarded by Leonardo Lord, the boss of British car company BMC, as a benchmark for the corruption of morality and distortion of human nature in the British automobile industry. The most classic series of three-booms with shells, with the characteristics of dreadful appearance, poor performance, and high rollover rate, have become the famous “plastic pigs” in the UK, and even beans are happy to chase them.

It happened that the Turkish father and son fell in love at first sight. It can only be said that the tradition that the Turks are crazy and don’t even recognize their own people still perfectly continues to the automobile industry…

As a result, Koc Group found Reliant Motor and asked them to help design a small car Anadol, and cooperated with American friend Ford to establish the famous Otosan car factory in Istanbul. Ford also provided the first batch of auto parts, Includes chassis and fiberglass body.

At the end of December 1966, Turkey’s first self-owned brand car, Anadol A1, officially rolled off the production line.

What’s even more crazy is that this fiberglass shell car actually won the first Turkish Rally Championship 2 years later. A few years later, all parts were produced locally. After 18 years, the Anadol brand, which produced and sold about 93,000 passenger cars, was officially delisted and became history.

Let me put it this way, the top reason for the delisting of the Anadol series is that Otosan has determined the policy of “everything can be made of glass fiber” after the Anadol series was created, and it has not been shaken for nearly 20 years.

Even though a series of new models such as A2, A4, A5, A6, A8, Otosan P2 500 and 600D have been launched successively, the technology and design have almost never been updated, and the production line and capacity have remained flat for a long time. According to incomplete statistics, after the birth of the A1 sedan, the company received orders worth more than £1 million from 11 countries, including the United States. However, until the product line was discontinued in 1984, only part of the orders were completed. The pickup of the same name, the 500 from the Otosan car factory, had a slightly longer lifespan and was officially discontinued in 1991.

For a long time, the Anadol series has been the face of Turkey, the myth that electricity is light and you are the only one. This myth is shattered like today’s idol star collapses – there is no other way but to replace it. Therefore, since 1983, Otosan has given up the factory to the American partner Ford in advance, becoming the most important OEM factory of Transit (the domestic Ford Transit) in Turkey.

Since then, Turkey’s history of self-made cars has been turned over, and it has been completely replaced by joint venture + OEM. Turkey has become a hot spot for OEMs for European, American and Asian car brands: Ford, Toyota, Honda, Mercedes-Benz, Renault, Jaguar Land Rover, Hyundai, Fiat, etc. have all set up joint ventures or wholly-owned factories in Turkey.

Let’s go back and talk about the secondary reason for the delisting of the Anadol series, that is, the domestic demand is really not high.

The fundamental reason for the Koc Group to build cars is to fool the Turkish people into buying them to enrich their pockets, so they don’t update their technology very much. Who knows that the latter has no money to buy a car at first, and secondly, it does not have any expectations for the Turkish brand, so how can the Koc Group engage in sustainable fishing?

But this disadvantage seems to be a huge advantage in the eyes of major car manufacturers – no money to buy a car? Show that you have a lot of cheap labor. Don’t love local cars? In all likelihood, you are more interested in foreign imported cars! As a result, since the Otosan automobile factory started, this country across the Eurasian continent has begun to be closely connected with the global automobile industry – even the lifeblood of the entire automobile industry is completely in the hands of automobile giants around the world.

Since the 1990s, nearly 80% of Turkish-made cars have been sold to Europe, America and the world every year, and the rest belongs to the domestic market. Interestingly, even though they have become the fifth largest vehicle producer in Europe, Turks are still not willing to buy domestically produced joint venture vehicles, but directly choose imported goods.

In fact, if the country has been so diligent in OEM, it is estimated that there will be no new stories such as Erdogan’s efforts to autonomous electric vehicles in the past two years.

But the problem is that people are acting on their behalf, and they have become the invisible OEM king in Europe. Since 2010, the annual production of automobiles in Turkey has jumped to a scale of more than one million. As of 2018, the production capacity has reached 1.55 million vehicles, and the annual export value ranks among the top fifteen in the world, only slightly lower than the traditional automobile powerhouse Italy, and has become the fifth largest vehicle producer in Europe.

What’s more, car OEM has gradually become Turkey’s most important economic and industrial pillar. At present, in Turkey, there are more than 200 overseas investors related to the automobile industry, and about 5,000 parts manufacturers.

According to 2018 data, the annual export volume easily exceeded 31.6 billion US dollars, accounting for 19% of the total domestic export, and it has won the domestic export champion for 13 consecutive years. Just the previous year, Turkey’s auto parts exports reached $28.5 billion.

The above excellent data has become a very embarrassing thing for Turkey – there are technologies and industries, and a big car-making country second only to Italy does not have its own passenger car brand! It’s incredible to think about! It is no wonder that Erdogan, who is full of ambitions, can’t wait to become the second senior brother under the new energy of automobiles. He has repeatedly declared that “Turkey will become the world’s largest production center of electric commercial vehicles and integrated vehicles in the future”. Let the independent auto brand of the country be reborn, and come to the field for the second development.

Therefore, the TOGG brand mentioned above is indeed a car-making alliance that gathers the wealth/talent of the whole country and squeezes it crazily. It is composed of the five gods of wealth under the Turkish Chamber of Commerce and Commodity Exchange Union (TOBB), namely:
The Anadolu Group, which has nothing to do with the Anadol brand cars built by the Koc family, is a world-renowned brewer. The group’s industry also involves real estate, agriculture, energy and other industries, and has established joint ventures in Turkey with Kia, Isuzu and other brands, and is also a major player in the Turkish car rental market;

BMC, Turkey’s largest manufacturer of commercial and military vehicles. The famous Turkish “Huozui” 350-16Z KIRPI mine-proof anti-ambush vehicle is built by it;

The Koc family, needless to say, has been mentioned repeatedly before. In addition to the Turkish factories with Ford and Fiat, it is also involved in the oil energy, construction and real estate industries, and is currently one of the world’s top 500;

Turkcell, one of the telecom giants in Turkey;

And Zorlu Holding Group, whose ZES company is currently the main party responsible for the construction and operation of domestic charging facilities in Turkey, also involves textiles, home appliances, electronic manufacturing, energy and financial services.

These 5 immortals were gathered by Erdogan and TOBB to make TOGG.

Each holds 19% and TOBB holds 5%. According to media reports, the investment in the project amounts to 22 billion Turkish lira ($1.2 billion) over a 13-year period. Erdogan is backing the project across the board with tax cuts, free rent, low borrowing costs and the purchase of 30,000 cars a year – until the end of 2035.

Of course, it is not known whether the Immortal Alliance will fall out in the future.

What makes the new global car-making force, Respai, also has the location of the TOGG factory, which is simply a crazy display of the Turks – in Gemlik, the most important port city around the Sea of ​​Marmara.

At first glance, it seems unremarkable, but the city is adjacent to the famous Bursa City, which not only has the famous old free trade zone, but also the most important automobile industry center in Turkey, where Renault and Fiat have built factories.

More importantly, the TOGG factory, which covers an area of ​​1.2 square kilometers… actually belongs to the land used by the National Defense Forces.

What is it that God is madly chasing after your ass with a golden spoon, begging for food! ? This is!

It is reported that this plant not only covers the manufacture of complete vehicles, but also the production of power batteries. Of course, the relevant battery production tasks are closely related to the two companies in our country. After all, people’s foundation in this regard cannot be said to be What is there, at least it can be said that it is better than nothing.

The first is GSR Capital. At the beginning of 2018, they signed an investment agreement with Zorlu Holding Group, one of the five gods of wealth in Turkey mentioned earlier: jointly invest 4.5 billion US dollars, each holding half of the shares, and cooperate to build a large battery factory with a capacity of 25,000 megawatts . The latter will be built next year and is expected to have a capacity equivalent to the batteries needed for 500,000 pure electric vehicles.

Secondly, in October 2020, TOGG reached an agreement with Funeng Technology, our “super soft package king”: TOGG’s mass-produced pure electric vehicles will be equipped with battery modules produced by Funeng Technology. Not only that, Funeng will also establish a joint venture company and R&D and production base in Turkey to develop and produce matching power batteries for TOGG.

The battery factories involved in the two Chinese companies are most likely the battery factory of TOGG in Gemlik. Erdogan also revealed in an interview: “Turkey has already established a relationship with the world’s most well-known companies. An agreement has been reached to build a lithium-ion battery factory near TOGG’s production site in Bursa.”

So in a sense, in the medal of merit of TOGG’s first car, there is also a great kindness from China.

In addition, TOGG is also carrying out the digging plan that a mountain is taller than a mountain.

At present, TOGG is in charge, oh no, the two at the helm are Gurcan Karakas, the former vice president of the electrified drive department of Bosch Group, and Sergio Rocha, who was the CEO and president of General Motors Korea, Vietnam, and Uzbekistan. . The head of design is Murat Günak, Volkswagen Group Design Director and Mercedes-Benz Associate Design Director…

Looking at this circle, many old drivers will easily find that even if they have more than 50% of their own car manufacturing capabilities, TOGG, regardless of company management, core technology or exterior design, the most important key cores of new energy vehicle manufacturing still do not belong to Turk.

In terms of infrastructure, it is even more terrible.

For example, the ZES company mentioned earlier is responsible for the construction and operation of domestic charging facilities in Turkey.

According to data, since the start of new energy vehicles and related industries in Turkey in 2018, until the third quarter of 2021, there are just over 1,200 charging points in the country, and 180kW fast charging piles have just begun to be added. Converted to Turkey’s nearly 783,000 square kilometers of land, there is an average of 650 square kilometers of one charging pile. Not to mention the popularity of fast charging piles…

However, some of the above are not, and Turkish consumers are not very concerned.

At present, in Turkey, the number of cars per 1,000 people is 154, and the number of electric vehicles in the country is only more than 1,500. The vast majority of them are still full of superstitions about imported fuel vehicles.

Therefore, the Turks actually know that once they are crazy but they don’t recognize anything, it is better to host them.

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