Togg: When Turkey wants to electrify Europe

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

On the industrial side, while textiles are a very active sector, the steel industry has developed strongly thanks to the railways, but also to the automobile. Car manufacturing has become the country’s largest export activity, producing over one million vehicles a year for manufacturers such as Honda, Hyundai, Fiat, Ford, Renault and Toyota. Added to this is the manufacture of components.

With such experience, one might have wondered why no local brands had been created.

The question has not arisen since 2018, with the arrival of Togg (acronym for Türkiye’nin Otomobili Girişim Grubu), a new automaker “done in Türkiye”, the result of a consortium of Turkish companies (agrifood, telecommunications, finance, steel and energy) whose investment was estimated at 3 billion euros, according to our colleague Lionel Steinmann from the daily the echoes. The manufacturer’s aim is to locally produce the first Turkish electric car from spring 2023 and sell at least one million units from a range of at least 5 models by 2030.

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

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The location was not chosen by chance, as it is the region dedicated to the automobile. Long before building the factory, Togg developed a strategy and “perfected the process” said Gürcan Karakas at the time in an interview with the German news site Handelsblatt. If the certifications and approvals for the Turkish market pass without any problems, European standards will be carried out during the first quarter of 2023. It would not be a matter of failing Euro NCAP.

TOGG 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 with 147 kW (200 hp) with a single electric motor positioned on the rear axle, and the second in all-wheel drive with two electric motors developing 294 kW (400 hp).

Our goal is to create a globally competitive mobility brand.

Gurcan 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 both Eastern and Western tastes.

TOGG 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 panel van.

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

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SIRO ELECTRIC SUV TOGG TURKEY BATTERY

Test the local market before the international

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

According to a study by Avere and 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).

ELECTRICAL CHARGING TOGG TRUGO TURKEY

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

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

Despite 80% inflation and the fact that electric vehicle prices are still unknown due to currency fluctuations, Togg’s advance does not appear to be affected. One of the reasons given is the support of the Turkish government and, in particular, of its president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Thus, the Turkish State partially waived the taxes levied on the companies and the interest on the loan granted.

TOGG TURKEY ELECTRIC SUV Gürcan Karakas

During the last VivaTech fair in Paris, the elaboration of the Digital had made contact with Togg, and more particularly with its president, Gürcan Karakas, a former manager of the equipment manufacturer Bosch. The opportunity to know a little more about this new automaker and its vision of the sector.

How did the idea for the Togg brand come about?

In November 2018, Togg started user brand development. As with all other aspects of Togg, this process was carried out in several steps. The first point was to understand the automotive segments and lifestyles in Turkey, knowing that the starting point of this new brand is Turkey, with the aim of making it a global brand. Once the users of the segments were segmented, we carried out a survey [entretiens psychothérapeutiques individuels durant environ 2 heures ; NDLR] to better understand your expectations and correctly position the Togg brand.

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 will arrive a year late. The product line will be completed with the SUV-B and MPV-C in the coming years.

TOGG TURKEY ELECTRIC SUV PININFARIBA

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

Collaborations with other players play an essential role in our mobility ecosystem. If we find them in Turkey, we work with them. Otherwise, we work with the best, anywhere in the world.

How does a Togg electric vehicle differ from another electric vehicle from a more traditional and well-known manufacturer? –

We created 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 that definition to create all kinds of projects and product development. Globally, we explain and record the concept “Use Case Mobility”, which represents these concepts.

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

The term ecosystem refers to a system formed by the interaction between 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 following it up.

As we are turning the car into a next-generation smart mobility device, our work begins where others end. The transformation that took place in the telephony world is now taking place in the automotive industry, in response to new consumer expectations.

In this new world, business models Data-driven are essential and have a lot of potential. By 2035, this world is expected to account for 40-50% of mass profits. It is the most agile, creative, collaborative and user-oriented organizations, not large groups, that will be most successful in the near future.

TOGG TURKEY ELECTRIC SUV PININFARIBA

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

Connected vehicle apps from well-known brands provide car and driving solutions such as car service network and charging stations.

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

This prompts scenarios that help you with a wide variety of problems, such as loss of voltage on your home’s electrical grid, an iron left plugged in, your child’s school bus running late for your groceries to be delivered in line. With the On-the-Air software update, you can have many connecting services and apps that are constantly being added to the Togg ecosystem, thanks to the secure cloud access software layer on Togg connected vehicles. Your car is no longer tied to the limitations of the day you bought it from the Togg ecosystem.

Every smart product, and even every brand, has its own API that allows you to configure the entire device, but the control apps are in multiple languages. It can complicate your life. You will need a separate app to control your smart oven or to lock a slot on a charging station. Togg’s smart vehicle combines “ilotsE” ecosystems through smart contracts that integrate all smart devices and systems, allowing you to manage everything from a single screen and a single app.

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

To date, we have achieved all of the established objectives within the timeframe provided. There is no reason why we should not achieve this goal.

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