ISTANBUL: Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has pictured the possibility of Malaysia producing "super cars" in order to further enhance the capability of the nation’s automotive industry.
The prime minister said Turkish supercar producer Onuk had indicated willingness to cooperate with Malaysia to produce the exotic vehicle.
Dr Mahathir said he had long been aware of Turkish companies’ capability but only now he could see it first-hand.
“I was aware of their capability. But there was no follow-up at the time as I was not the prime minister then, so making progress would have been difficult.
“And now they are ready to collaborate... not only with that type of car (super car) but also with other cars,’’ he said .
The prime minister said this to Malaysian reporters at the end of his official visit to Turkey at the Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen International Airport (ISGIA), here, yesterday.
The Onuk Sazan and Onuk S56/G super car models are exhibited at the ISGIA and Dr Mahathir took the opportunity to check them out before he left for home.
On Friday, the prime minister during a dialogue session with Turkish captains of industry had offered them Malaysian expertise to produce their own national car based on the success garnered by Proton and Perodua.
Meanwhile, Dr Mahathir praised Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd's (MAHB) success in managing (ISGIA) Turkey’s second largest airport, which shows Malaysian companies’ capability as well as their ability to expand their operations abroad.
The prime minister said although MAHB operates airports in several other countries as well, ISGIA, which the company wholly owns, is the largest, handling 34 million passengers annually.
“It’s much larger than KLIA (Kuala lumpur International Airport), and its management is something special. There are people who recognise our capability in this field and give us a lot of opportunities,” he.
On Friday, Dr Mahathir visited ISGIA, which was taken over entirely by MAHB in 2014, and witnessed its operations.
Opened in January 2001, the airport is the second busiest in Turkey and the world’s busiest single-runway airport and terminal.
Located some 45 km from Istanbul, it recorded 16.7 million passenger traffic movements as of June this year (first half of 2019), up 3.4 per cent over the same period last yeaar.
In 2018, it posted 34.1 million passenger traffic movements and revenue of RM1.15 billion.