Toyota Motor Corp's subsidiary in Turkey is targeting to hike production by around 46 percent in 2014 to 150,000 vehicles and concentrate more on exports across Africa and the Middle East to offset effects of the weak vehicle market in Europe, chief executive Orhan Ozer told Reuters in an interview.
Ozer said that the output increase will bring the Toyota Motor Manufacturing Turkey 's Adapazari site to capacity and will reflect the full-year effect of production of the Corolla passenger car, which it has been building since June 2013.
Ozer remarked that Toyota's headquarters in Japan will decide by the end of 2013 whether to commence output of a new model in Turkey.
Toyota Motor Manufacturing Turkey's Adapazari site builds the Verso and new Corolla passenger car models and exports to 52 countries. The group is going into export markets in North Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia because of the slumping European market.
"I do not see much of a prospect of Europe recovering in the short- and medium-term," Ozer told Reuters, saying that this places exporters in a difficult situation. Toyota Motor Manufacturing Turkey targets to build 67,000 Corolla cars this year -- most of them will be sold in Turkey and will be exported to Russia and Israel.
Ozer remarked that Kazakhstan, Russia and Ukraine are growing are attractive markets, judging by the number of vehicles per thousand people. Ozer said that around 90 of its Verso exports are still bound to European markets like Germany, France and Spain. The auto sector is Turkey's largest exporter, thanks to the presence of major players like OyakRenault, Ford Otosan and Tofas -- all joint ventures between Turkish companies and major foreign carmakers.