Chinese Electric Car Tariffs Bypassed Thanks to Türkiye

Chinese Electric Car Tariffs Bypassed Thanks to Türkiye

European politics, branded as “protectionist” by China, suffers a hard blow. After Hungary, it is now Turkey’s turn to open its doors to the Chinese electric car giant Byd. The Shenzhen company, after having landed in 19 countries around the world, is opening a plant in the country led by Sultan Recep Tayyip Erdogan in an attempt to circumvent the duties recently introduced by Brussels on the latest generation cars “made in China”. The Chinese company will thus introduce its cars to the European market, which however were produced in Turkey.

They open a factory to produce Chinese electric cars, but with our money

The Chinese company BYD (which will see a 17.4 percent tariff applied on its car imports from China), has signed an agreement with the Istanbul government to open a plant in the province of Manisa. The gigafactory will build electric and hybrid cars with an annual production capacity of 150,000 vehicles. An investment of one billion dollars has been placed on the table, to also be used for the creation of a research and development center for sustainable mobility technologies. The factory is expected to start production at the end of 2026 and will create up to 5,000 jobs. It is a godsend for Erdogan, who is struggling with very high inflation and the depreciation of the Turkish lira and widespread poverty among the population.

The Chinese manufacturer opens a factory in the Anatolian peninsula, taking advantage of the agreement that Ankara has with Brussels on the cancellation of taxes on reciprocal imports and exports. Turkey, in fact, is part of the EU Customs Union, which means that vehicles manufactured in the Anatolian peninsula and exported to the Union can avoid additional customs duties. It must be said, however, that Erdogan uses protectionism to his advantage: the Turkish government has also taken measures to support the country’s car manufacturers, imposing an additional 40 percent tariff on imports of Chinese vehicles.

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The agreement was signed on July 8 in Istanbul by BYD Chairman Wang Chuanfu and Turkish Technology Minister Mehmet Fatih Kacir, in the presence of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, according to state TV TRT. The Technology Minister posted photos on the social media platform X of the Turkish president meeting with the Chinese company’s CEO during a signing ceremony for the plant. The minister said the deal was the result of talks with Chinese officials after a visit to China in December 2023, a few months after the start of the investigation launched by the European Commission to protect the Old Continent’s electric car market.