The new 100% electric car brand from Turkey aims to generate a digital ecosystem that goes far beyond the simple production of cars.
Tesla, Fisker, Vinfast, Lucid… With electrification, the automotive industry is seeing a host of new manufacturers appear. Among them is Togg (for Türkiye’nin Otomobili Girişim Grubu A.Ş). A joint venture founded in June 2018 in Turkey after several months of preparatory work. Among the shareholders are the manufacturer of buses and military vehicles BMC, the Anadolou holding or the telephone operator Turkcell. Add the very official support of the president Recep Tayyip Erdogan, which intends to take advantage of the changes underway to make Turkey a mobility bigwig. the Togg brand’s first vehicle – an electric SUV – will hit the road next year.
On the occasion of the VivaTech exhibition, the boss, Gurcan Caracas, detailed his roadmap. The brand is used to high-tech meetings: it also presented its third concept car at CES in Las Vegas earlier this year. Togg also assumes its positioning outside the traditional canons of the auto industry:
“We’re not going to come in saying, ‘Hey, we’re a new car brand! », Explains Gürcan Karakas, the big boss and formerly of Bosch in Germany. We see all the changes that are taking place in the automotive industry, the disruptions that are going on. For us, assembling a car would not be profitable and would not provide sufficient service to the user. This is why we see ourselves as an ecosystem, a set of services for our users, but also content”.
For this, the brand intends to launch a swarm of activities related to car sharing, gamification or even the smart city. “We have a very high level of collaboration with start-ups (there were 16 “in the loop” at the time of this interview, editor’s note.). Their ideas are as important as ours and we try to find economic models with them. Our effort will focus on the technological nature of our product and on the mobility ecosystem. Sooner or later, users will realize the additional services offered by our environment”.
A factory (almost) launched
However, Togg will build cars. First stage of the rocket, an electric SUV format Peugeot 3008. The concept car was produced by Pininfarina and the final version is very close to the design. If all the technical characteristics have not been revealed, the machine should offer 300 to 500 kilometers of range and a cockpit rich in screens. On the product side, a sedan will follow in 2024. The range will be completed by three other medium-term models, based on a single platform.
The design will be overseen by a big name from Turkey: Murat Gunakauthor of the first Mercedes C-Class, the SLK then the Peugeot 607 (in collaboration with Gérard Welter) or the Volkswagen Golf V (with Marc Lichte).
In 2030, the brand intends to produce one million vehicles per year, i.e. a circulation greater than that of Citroën in the world today. For this, a factory has already emerged from the ground in Gemlik, not far from Bursa (north-west of Turkey). This area is theautomotive valley Turkey: Hundreds of thousands of Renault Clios and Fiat Doblòs are manufactured there every year. Where is Togg from an industrial point of view?
“Our plan is to launch our smart device and March 2023. If we want production to be orderly, regular and of high quality, the first units must leave the factory in November. At this time, we will freeze production processes and produce 25 to 35 pre-series vehicles. And before that, the first tests on the channel will be launched at the end of July at the beginning of August. We have already started doing tests on small units”.
The accumulators will be supplied by a joint venture named Siro, mounted with the Chinese Farasis Energy. The agreement provides for the construction of a battery factory in Gemlik, right next to the assembly site.
What about the arrival of Togg on the European market? “There is no exact date, but if the start is good in our market, we plan to export cars 12 to 18 months after the launch”, explains Gurcan Caracas.
“The arrows in the logo point west and east,” explains Togg’s boss. As a Turkish company, we have this ability to understand both cultures. We understand the Asian mentality very well, but also the European specificities. The perfect square in the center symbolizes our concern for the user”. It remains to be seen if there will be many.