Attending an experience sharing meeting organized by the Antalya Businessmen Association, Toyota Turkey CEO Orhan Özer said Japan-based Toyota will add $500 million to its existing $1.9 million worth of investments in Turkey to launch new models in the next two or three years. Özer said Toyota Turkey exports 88 percent of its products to 53 countries and added that he hopes the company will increase its current $2 billion worth of exports to $4 billion in the next two or three years. Özer highlighted that 78 percent of vehicles sold in Turkey were imported vehicles in 2003, however, this figure has dropped to 73 percent leaving Turkey's automotive industry with a foreign trade surplus since 2004. Touching on the performance of Turkey's automotive industry in terms of global automotive production, Özer said Turkey ranked fifth and 15th in Europe and the world, respectively, in 2014. Turkey, as a regional base of automotive exports, produced 1.170 million vehicles last year, marking a 4 percent increase, despite a shrinking domestic market.
Toyota Turkey has thus far conducted around $21 billion worth of exports with its 3,500 staff. Indicating that he supports the idea that Turkey produces its cars domestically, Özer added, "Turkey has many kinds of technical skills and strength to produce domestic vehicles, but this is not such an easy task; it requires a huge investment. Patterns of a model can cost 150 million euros alone. The public should also show positive demand for domestic vehicles." Özer suggested that for the production of domestic vehicles, semi-official institutions with large funds could transfer their funds to found public companies, or could form consortiums with the participation of other companies. Özer emphasized that automotive sales partly decreased due to the Special Consumption Tax hike launched in 2014 to reduce automotive industry imports.