Hybrid car factories in Turkey to reach 4 in 2020 with Hyundai launch

This file photo dated March 28, 2016 shows a Hyundai i20 rolled out of production line at the company's Izmit plant. (Photo: Sabah)
The number of factories producing hybrid vehicles in Turkey will rise to four by the end of 2020. Hyundai Assan will begin hybrid vehicle production with the revamped i20 in the last quarter of 2020. It will also offer a hybrid engine option in the B-SUV model it will produce in 2021.

A major transformation is taking place in the automotive world. Brands are moving away from diesel and gasoline engine vehicle production and are rapidly turning toward hybrid and electric vehicle production. The same goes for the Turkish automotive industry. Following in Toyota, Oyak Renault and Ford Otosan's footsteps, Hyundai Assan is also beginning hybrid vehicle production. Turkey, which has risen to an upper league in the automotive sector, is now among the few countries producing hybrid vehicles. Hyundai Assan plans to start hybrid vehicle production in the last quarter of 2020. The first hybrid model to be produced will be the revamped i20. Then, the company will offer a hybrid engine option in the new B-SUV model, which will be produced in 2021. Turkey's production will contribute significantly to meeting the South Korean brand's hybrid and electric vehicle sales targets.

Hyundai aims to have more than 75% of the cars it will sell in Europe in 2020 be hybrid, plug-in hybrid, electric and hydrogen-fueled models. Hyundai plans to sell 44 electric and hybrid models by 2025 and aims to become the third-largest electric and hybrid vehicle producing brand in the world. Hyundai, which has worked on hybrid and electric vehicles for many years, will invest $6.7 billion in electric vehicles by 2030.

Turkey's hybrid vehicle production adventure began four years ago. First, Toyota produced the hybrid technology C-HR at its plants in Sakarya in 2016. The Japanese brand later increased the number of hybrid models it produced to two along with the 12th generation Corolla sedan model. Also, Oyak Renault started the production of hybrid and plug-in hybrid engines. Hybrid engines to be produced in Bursa will be exported for use in Renault Group brands. Ford Otosan has also begun producing the rechargeable, hybrid electric commercial vehicle Transit Custom PHEV at its Gölcük facilities. There is no large factory in Turkey that does not produce hybrid vehicles, with the exception of Tofaş.

The i10 produced in Turkey since 2013 has been completely revamped. The test drive of i10 produced in İzmit was carried out in Lisbon, Portugal. The i10, which is scheduled to be available in March in Turkey, offers two new engine options: 1.0 liter and 1.2 liter. The car stands out with features such as a rear-view camera, eight-inch touchscreen, Apple Car-Play and Android Auto.

Hyundai Assan, the compact production base of the South Korean brand, produced a total of 178,000 cars in 2019 – 81,662 of which were i10 and 96,338 of which were i20. From 2013 to 2019, 592,135 units of i10 were produced. Of this, 578,509 were exported to 45 countries, mainly the European Union. Among the countries where the i10 model is best sold are the U.K., Germany and Italy.

Hyundai Assan's planned B-SUV investment in Turkey has reached the final stage. The production date for the new B-SUV model has been set for March 2021. Given the rapidly growing demand for SUV models in Europe and Turkey, the new model is expected to be a significant milestone for Hyundai Assan. The share of SUV models in the brand's sales in Turkey soared from 25% to 45% in 2019.

In 2019, hybrid car sales rose to a record high, reaching 11,974 units with a 207.1% hike. In 2018, the hybrid car market saw 3,899 units sold. The market share of hybrid vehicles jumped from 0.80% to 3.09%. A total of 96% of the hybrid vehicles sold were Toyota brand cars. Toyota Turkey Marketing and Sales CEO Ali Haydar Bozkurt said that the number of hybrid cars in traffic is on the rise, adding: "We have carried out intensive studies for the spread of hybrid technology in our country. At this point, we see that both our brand and other brands have come to reap the fruits of investing in hybrid technology. The fact that consumers are turning to hybrid cars is proof that we are on the right track."

Pointing out that hybrid vehicles are more advantageous than diesel and gasoline-powered ones, Bozkurt stated: "While diesel and gasoline-driven vehicles need maintenance every 10,000 kilometers, this rises to 15,000 kilometers in hybrid ones. When we compare maintenance costs, hybrid vehicles are 33% more advantageous than diesel vehicles and 35% more advantageous than gasoline vehicles. In addition, our studies and measurements showed that hybrid vehicles consume 15% less fuel than diesel-powered models and 36% less fuel than gasoline-powered ones. When we compare the secondhand figures, we see that hybrid vehicles have an advantageous secondhand value of 4% compared to gasoline and 6% compared to diesel."

*Ufuk Sandık
Contact Us