ECONOMY

Toyota likes Turkey

ADAPAZARI, Turkey (Reuters) – Toyota Motor Corp is planning to raise its investment in Turkey, but the level of incentives is still inadequate, the head of Toyota’s Turkish arm said yesterday. Toyota has already invested a total 730 million euros in Turkey and was the country’s biggest exporter in 2004, with a volume of $1.86 billion. Kazuhiro Kobayashi, chief executive officer of Toyota Motor Manufacturing Turkey (TMMT), said the importance of Turkey to Toyota was evident from its exclusive production there of the Corolla Verso model. «In the automobile sector, you should continuously make investments to maintain capability. We will increase our investments in Turkey,» he told Reuters in an interview, though he declined to give a figure. Toyota exports 90 percent of its production in Turkey. It exported more than 119,000 vehicles last year, mainly to Europe but especially to Germany, Italy and France. This year, the company is planning to fully utilize its production capacity of 150,000 units, he said. It employs 3,100 people in its factory in northwest Turkey. Kobayashi also said the prospect of Turkey starting accession negotiations with the European Union would make the country more attractive for foreign automotive companies in the future, given the evidence in other countries that have joined the EU.