HABAŞ seeks hybrid car production at former Honda Turkey plant

HABAŞ, a leading Turkish steel and industrial gases producer, is planning to manufacture a domestic hybrid automobile at the former Honda plant in Turkey, a report said Thursday.

Company officials told the Turkish business daily Dünya that they are in contact with more than 30 engineering companies to launch mass production of the hybrid car.

The report came a day after Honda terminated its production in Turkey which was announced back in 2019 as part of a global restructuring plan.

The Japanese carmaker had announced back in March that the plant located in northwestern Turkey’s Kocaeli province will be transferred to HABAŞ.

Equipment from another closed-down Honda plant in Swindon, U.K.,was also purchased and brought to Turkey, the report said.

HABAŞ’s owner Mehmet Rüştü Başaran was also reported to have approached former Honda employees for the production of the hybrid vehicle.

In a similar move, Turkey’s Automobile Joint Venture Group (TOGG) had hired former Honda Factory Manager Murat Akdaş back in September 2020.

TOGG, established by five leading Turkish conglomerates, seeks to begin mass production of its domestically produced electric vehicles by 2022.

The Honda plant was established in partnership with the Anadolu Group back in 1997. Anadolu Group is one of the partners of TOGG that also operates a joint venture with the Japanese engine and vehicle manufacturer Isuzu.

The plant in the industrial hub of Gebze used to churn out 50,000 Civic Sedans annually before its closure and employed 770 people. The Honda Motor Co. had acquired full control of manufacturing and sales operations in Turkey back in 2003.

Başaran, who is one of Turkey’s richest people with an estimated wealth of around $1 billion (TL 8.86 billion), is known for his passion for automobiles and a large collection of classic and luxurious vehicles.

HABAŞ Group also operates in electricity production and has a leading position in the liquefied & compressed natural gas (LNG/CNG) and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) distribution sector.

The conglomerate is also active in the finance sector through Anadolubank and its affiliated investment, factoring and leasing divisions.


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