DongFeng Motors (DFM), a leading Chinese automotive company, has decided to invest $250 million in Turkey despite the volatile atmosphere in markets due to the ongoing global financial crisis.
The company is expected to start manufacturing commercial vehicles in Turkey by the end of the year. Although the locations of the factories have yet to be determined, there is a high possibility that they may be built in Konya, Gebze and İzmir.
Officials from the Foreign Trade Undersecretariat pointed out that China, which managed to report economic growth despite the financial crisis, was focusing on investment projects and said plans with the DFM have almost reached the final stages. The company plans to reach markets in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa through Turkey.
While investors haven't shown much interest in many countries around the world in recent years, several international companies have come knocking on Turkey's door. Among the companies that have decided to invest in Turkey in the past year are giants such as Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard, ENPAY, CRH, Vision, Oschatz, Gates, Tafe and Areva, and the Investment Support and Promotion Agency of Turkey (ISPAT) reached an agreement with Pfizer on engaging in research and development in Turkey just a month and a half ago.
Cars produced by the Chinese-owned DFM, which manufactures more than 1 million vehicles each year, are distributed in Turkey by MYG Automotive. DFM board of directors Chairman Xu Ping said the best way to fight against the current crisis was by manufacturing cars together with Turkey. Noting that Turkey was very important for DFM in terms of reaching the European market, Ping said work is under way to build a manufacturing center.
China, which made close to $100 billion worth of investments worldwide last year, made close to $60 million worth of investments in Turkey. Turkey, on the other hand, has invested approximately $100 million in China.
DFM manufactures Honda and Nissan
DFM was founded in 1969 and has become one of the most important companies in the Chinese automobile industry.
Growing over the last 30 years, the company began operations in Shiyan (for medium and heavy commercial vehicles, parts and components), Wuhan (for passenger cars) and Guangzhou (for passenger cars). DFM relocated its headquarters from Shiyan to Wuhan in 2003. The company, which is one of the three largest automobile companies in China, was founded to manufacture commercial vehicles, passenger vehicles, parts and components and automotive equipment. DFM manufactures military vehicles for the Chinese army and is the official manufacturer of Honda, Nissan, Citroën, Peugeot and KIA in China.