Fiat manager calls Turkey strategic country

April 24, 2007, Tuesday/ 20:49:00
Fiat CEO Franco Miniero has said he hopes their vehicles will carve out an important niche in Turkey's economy.
The company is aiming to grow in the commercial vehicle sector and Turkey is a strategic part in this process, said Miniero in an interview with Today's Zaman, also emphasizing that Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan had a good image in the EU and in the European media. He said Turkey's progress after the 2001 economic crisis had been considerable.

Miniero said their commercial vehicle group was under the umbrella of Fiat Professional. Fiat had invested in Turkey for years and would continue to do so, he said.

"We do not decide our investments according to daily developments and political crises or according to the ruling party," he said.

Miniero mentioned that their new targets were China, Singapore and Saudi Arabia. He said they would not make investments in China but were going to try to sell vehicles there. He said they were planning to sell 500,000 vehicles in 2010 as Fiat Professional. According to data presented by Miniero, sales had increased by 20 percent in three years. The new model Ducato collected 115,000 orders in 15 months from the 1,400 Fiat dealerships in Europe.

Fiat Commercial Vehicles Marketing Manager Özgür Mehmet Süslü said they had 15.9 of Turkey's market. "We are in the Turkish market with Ducato, Doblo and the Palio van. The production of MiniCargo in Turkey after Doblo will increase our competitiveness," he said.

Fiat has high hopes in LCV market with Scudo

Fiat is hoping to make inroads in the light commercial vehicle (LCV) market with its latest model, the Scudo Panorama.

Test drives and demonstrations of the new model were held in Portofino, Italy. The new Scuda was designed to transport goods within or close to cities. It will enter the Turkish market in the last quarter of 2007 and can carry between 1,000 and 1,200 kilos.

The most eye-catching feature of the vehicle is its wide front and side windshields that illuminate the inside of the car and reduce blind spots. Scuda Panorama can hold up to nine passengers.

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