Honda sells Turkish automotive plant to Turkey’s Habas Group

Japanese automaker Honda said on March 26 it has reached a handover agreement with Turkey’s Habas Group, parent company of Habas Iron and Steel, for the real estate of Honda’s Civic sedan factory. Honda announced in 2019 that it would close its Turkish plant following the end of its Civic production there in 2021, in line with its plan to restructure its global manufacturing network.

According to the agreement, the takeover of the real estate will be realized after September 2021. No sale price was disclosed.

Honda’s Turkish plant, in Gebze, near Istanbul, was producing 50,000 automobiles per year. The company was also producing auto spare parts for its Accord, Jazz, CRV and Civic models at the Gebze plant.

The company will continue its marketing, sales and after-sales services in Turkey at its head office in Istanbul from now on with its active dealer network, Honda said.

Habas Group is the leading supplier of industrial and medical gases and distributor of LNG and CNG in Turkey. Having 4.5 million mt/year of liquid steel production capacity, it also is one of the leading Turkish steel producers, making hot-rolled coil, wire rod and bars.

Although Habas didn’t make any statement about plans for the factory, there was some market chatter on social media March 26 that Mehmet Rustu Basaran, who was the owner of the Habas Group, is aiming to begin hybrid and electric car production at the factory and also interested in purchasing a motor production facility in the UK. This chatter, however, couldn’t be confirmed.

— Cenk Can