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June 7, 2022

Doblo doubt hits Tofas shares – report

The new Fiat Doblo would be produced in Spain.

By Graeme Roberts

Shares in Turkish automaker Tofas have fallen sharply today after major shareholder Stellantis said the new Fiat Doblo would be produced in Spain, creating uncertainty about what would be produced in its place in Turkey.

The shares slid 6.1% to 73.95 lira by 1025 GMT, off an early low of 72.85 lira, Reuters reported.

Tofas is a joint venture between Turkey’s Koc Holding and Stellantis.

Tofas previously said output of the Doblo light commercial vehicle would continue at its factory until end-2022. But it said late on Monday assessments were continuing on extending the current Doblo version output until end-2023 and on the potential production of new models.

A Stellantis news release on Monday about the new Doblo and E-Doblo vehicles said these would be manufactured in Spain, Reuters noted.

Tofas began production of the Doblo, one of the three main vehicles it makes, in the early 2000s and it enabled the company to switch to an export oriented business model.

While Doblo production by Tofas was originally planned to end at the end of this year, Stellantis has been evaluating for some time whether Tofas would produce the new model.

“We still see a higher probability that there will be new potential projects… However, current news flow does not look very encouraging,” Ata Yatirim deputy general manager Cemal Demirtas told Reuters.

“Any delay in the announcement of new potential projects… is likely to lead to an overhang in Tofas shares.”

Tofas said even if Doblo production in Turkey was extended, European countries would not be among its main export markets, with output focused on the domestic market, the Middle East, Africa and North America markets.

Doblo constituted one third of Tofas’ production with 77,520 vehicles as of the end of last year. It also made up 43% of the company’s exports with 48,761 units, Reuters said.

Aside from the Doblo, Tofas produces the Egea passenger model and another light commercial vehicle platform, the MCV, in smaller volume.

Tofas has a production capacity of 450,000 a year, but output decreased after the coronavirus epidemic. It produced about 229,000 vehicles last year, Reuters said.

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