Togg: when Turkey wants to electrify Europe

Now the 19th economic power in the world, Turkey saw the average annual growth of its GDP point to 5% by 2022. The country has become “one of the most important economies in terms of wealth creation in the Middle East, just after Saudi Arabia (18th)according to a memo from the French Finance Directorate.

On the industrial side, if the textile is a very active sector, the steel industry has developed strongly thanks to the railway, but also the cars. Car manufacturing has become the country’s largest export activity, producing more than a million vehicles a year for manufacturers such as Honda, Hyundai, Fiat, Ford, Renault and Toyota. In addition, the manufacture of components.

With such expertise, one might have wondered why no local brand had been created.

The question has no longer arisen since 2018, with the arrival of Togg (acronym of Türkiye’nin Otomobili Girishim Grubu), a new car manufacturer “made in Türkiye”, the result of a consortium of Turkish companies (agrifood, telecommunications, finance, steel and energy), whose investment has been estimated at 3 billion euros, according to our colleague Lionel Steinmann from the daily The echoes. The manufacturer’s goal is to locally produce the first Turkish electric car from the spring of 2023 and to sell at least one million units from a range of at least 5 models by 2030.

A production unit was recently built in Gemlik, a port city in the province of Bursa. It will officially open on October 29, 2022 after the confirmation of Mustafa Varank, the Minister of Industry and Technology (source Turkey.postsen).

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The place was not chosen by chance, as it is the region dedicated to the car. Well before the construction of the facility, Togg developed a strategy and “perfected the process” Gürcan Karakas said at the time in an interview with the German news site Handelsblatt. If the certifications and approvals for the Turkish market are passed without problems, the European standards will be implemented during the first quarter of 2023. It would not be a question of failing Euro NCAP.

TRAIN TURKEY ELECTRIC SUV Gürcan Karakas

The first expected electric vehicle is a C-segment SUV with a range of between 300 and 500 km, with two engines to choose from; the first of 147 kW (200 hp) with a single electric motor located on the rear axle, and the second in four-wheel drive with two electric motors developing 294 kW (400 hp).

Our goal is to create a globally competitive mobility brand.

Gürcan Karakas, CEO of Togg

On the other hand, if the architecture remains identical, Togg has already planned different bodies whose design will take into account Eastern and Western tastes.

TRAIN TURKEY ELECTRIC SUV Gürcan Karakas

This SUV is expected to be followed by a sedan, a C-segment hatchback, a B-segment SUV and a van.

The batteries will be produced by Siro, a joint venture created by Togg and Farasis Energy, a Chinese-American battery cell manufacturer. The latter is known to be one of the largest car suppliers in China, but also Mercedes-Benz. Farasis Energy has two production sites in China. The batteries will be assembled directly at the Gemlik site, and on-site production will only be considered later.

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TRAIN TURKEY ELECTRIC SUV SIRO BATTERY

Test the local market before the international one

It is not easy today to enter a market where competition is fierce, especially in electric cars, a privileged area for Chinese manufacturers arriving en masse in Europe. If Togg’s decision to launch in its local market first seems wiser, the fact is that the electric car in Turkey is considered an exotic product reserved for an elite.

According to an Avere study and the law firm De Gaulle Fleurance “only 2,000 electric cars were registered in the country in 2021, for an estimated total fleet of 6,000 units” (source The echoes).

TRAIN TRUGO ELECTRIC CHARGING TURKEY

It should be added that the charging network is almost non-existent on site. However, the situation should change with Trugo, a new Turkish operator whose goal is to install a network of ultra-fast terminals (180 kW) in 81 Turkish provinces.

Finally, unlike in Europe, where there are incentives for the purchase of an electrified vehicle, the Turkish government currently does not offer purchase subsidies.

Despite 80% inflation and the fact that the prices of electric cars are not yet known due to currency fluctuations, Togg’s progress does not seem to be affected. One of the reasons put forward is the support of the Turkish government, and in particular its president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. The Turkish state has thus partially waived the taxes imposed on companies and for the interest on the loan granted.

TRAIN TURKEY ELECTRIC SUV Gürcan Karakas

During the last VivaTech fair in Paris, the preparation of Digital had made contact with Togg, and more specifically with its president, Gürcan Karakas, a former head of the Bosch equipment manufacturer. The opportunity to learn a little more about this new car manufacturer and its vision for the sector.

How did the idea for the brand Togg come about?

In November 2018, Togg began user brand development. As with all other aspects of Togg, this process was done in several steps. The first point was to understand the car segments and the lifestyle in Turkey, knowing that the starting point of this new brand is Turkey, with the aim of making it a global brand. As the users of the segments were targeted, we conducted a survey [entretiens psychothérapeutiques individuels durant environ 2 heures ; NDLR] to better understand their expectations and to position the Togg brand correctly.

What are the motivations, knowing that the electricity market is in its infancy in Turkey and that no purchase assistance is offered? –

Our goal is to create a globally competitive mobility brand.

How many models are planned and what are the sales targets by 2030?

After the launch of our SUV model in 2023, we will produce C-segment sedans, hatchbacks and MPVs as well as B-segment SUVs, giving us a range of five models with the same DNA.
C-segment sedans and hatchbacks arrive with a one-year delay. The product line will be completed with the SUV-B and MPV-C in the following years.

TRAIN TURKEY ELECTRIC SUV PININFARIBA

Why the choice of Pininfarina? What were the criteria for designing the Togg model(s)?

Cooperation with other actors plays a significant role in our mobility ecosystem. If we find them in Turkey, we will work with them. Otherwise, we work with the best, anywhere in the world.

How will a Togg electric vehicle differ from another electric vehicle from a more traditional and already known manufacturer? –

We create Togg with a completely user-oriented approach. If the product you make doesn’t become potent with the people who use it, it won’t last long. From the beginning, we defined our device as customer-centric, intelligent, empathetic, connected, autonomous, shared and electric, and we use this definition to create all our types of product design and development. Globally, we explain and register the concept of “Use-Case Mobility” which represents these concepts.

We worked on more than 350 use cases and came up with 40 innovative ideas. Over 2,000 people participated in the quantitative research, which included over 30 group and individual interviews. We made a map of “user journey” based on the concepts that we consider to be priority.

The term ecosystem refers to a system formed by the interaction of living and non-living organisms that maintain continuity by feeding each other.

On the other hand, the mobility ecosystem refers to a world where all modes of transport and all types of services that add value to our lives are intelligently connected and interactive.

The automotive industry is rapidly moving towards a mobility ecosystem with new rules of engagement. Today, this industry is responsible for developing a product concept, developing the vehicle, manufacturing it, selling it and providing follow-up.

Because we transform the car into a next-generation smart mobility device, our work begins where others end. The transformation that has taken place in the world of telephony is now happening in the automotive industry in response to new consumer expectations.

In this new world, business models the data drive is essential and has great potential. In 2035, this world is expected to account for 40-50% of mass profits. It is the more agile, creative, collaborative and user-oriented organizations and not large groups that will be most successful in the near future.

TRAIN TURKEY ELECTRIC SUV PININFARIBA

At the last CES 2022 in Las Vegas, Togg defined itself as a “tech company” and not as a car manufacturer (“car company”). What does this change? Is this a real advantage?

Connected vehicle apps from well-known brands provide solutions for cars and driving, such as car service networks and charging stations.

Togg is much more than a smart car. Our intelligent vehicle is an assistant that thinks for you in several areas of your life and works together with your connected devices in your home, smart Grid and all other Internet-connected devices.

This induces scenarios that help you with a wide range of problems, such as a loss of voltage in your home’s electrical network, an iron left plugged in, your child’s school bus arriving late for your shopping to be delivered in line. With the On-the-Air software update, you can have many connectivity services and applications constantly added to the Togg ecosystem thanks to the secure cloud access software layer in Togg connected vehicles. Your car is no longer tied to the restrictions of the day you bought it in the Togg ecosystem.

Each smart product, and even each brand, has its own API that allows you to configure the entire device, but the control applications are in several languages. It can complicate your life. You need a separate app to control your smart oven or to block a slot at a charging station. Togg’s smart vehicle combines “ilotsE ecosystems via smart contracts that integrate all smart devices and systems, allowing you to manage everything from a single screen and a single application.

You have given yourself 18 months to succeed in the Turkish market. What will happen if you don’t reach your goal?

So far, we have achieved all the set goals within the planned time. There is no reason why we cannot achieve this goal.

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