Turkish carmaker Tofas has announced plans to start manufacturing a new passenger car at its plant in Bursa in the second half of 2015, according to a statement to the Istanbul Stock Exchange.
Tofas, which is based in Istanbul, is reported to be investing $520m to more than double production to 580,000 vehicles by 2023, from 256,428 in 2012. According to Tofas, talks with Fiat are in the “final phase”. Tofas said it plans to export a third of production by 2023.
Fiat holds a 38% stake in Tofas, alongside Turkish conglomerate Koc Holding, which owns and equal share in the company. The remaining 24% is owned by individual investors.
The compact car is set to go on sale after 2015. It will replace the Fiat Linea, which has been built at Bursa, northwest Turkey, since 2007. Tofas also produces the Fiat Albea, Doblo and Fiorino, the Citroën Nemo, Peugeot Bipper and Opel/Vauxhall Combo at the plant. It ranks third in the Turkish passenger car market.
The first Fiat Linea was designed and produced at the Bursa facility, which is still the model’s primary production plant for the European market.
In 2012, Tofas exported more than 154,000 vehicles from Turkey.