This is something Malaysia is very familiar with – strongman leaders and national cars. Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdogan has unveiled plans to launch a car made entirely in Turkey by 2021, Reuters reports.

The report says that Erdogan has painted the homegrown car as a long-harboured dream of the Turkish people, and even promised to be the first in line to buy the Turkish car. Turkey is currently an exporter of vehicles from major brands, mainly to Europe, but a home effort will be something else altogether.

The newswire says that for years, Erdogan’s ruling AK Party has held a goal of bringing about the production of a homegrown car, seeing it as proof of the country’s growing economic might.

Erdogan has announced that a consortium of five firms will be responsible for the Turkish car. The “five brave fellows” include mobile phone operator Turkcell and Zorlu Holding, the parent of home electronics maker Vestel. The other partners are conglomerates Anadolu Holding, Kiraca Holding and the Turkish-Qatari partnership BMC Group.

“We don’t want any delays in this project and we will not tolerate any loss of time. I will be the first customer for the new car, under the condition that I am going to pay for it,” Erdogan declared, adding that a prototype would be completed by 2019 at the latest.

Of course, making a car, and making it profitably, is not an easy task. Some analysts are skeptical. “This is a good intention but there is a long way ahead. This group is not an experienced group in automotives. Can this group produce it? How will they co-operate? The competition is fierce in the sector and abroad,” Cemal Demirtas, head of research at Ata Invest, rightfully pointed out.

To make it easier, Erdogan and his brave fellows could take a leaf from Malaysia’s Proton, which started off by rebadging Mitsubishis. To aid the fledgling national car, Malaysia could count on high import barriers to give local cars an artificial price advantage, but that’s a tactic that would be harder to implement today.

Or they can just buy the rights to the now defunct Saab 9-3 and ride on nationalistic fervour.