Turkish Ford Plant, Aiming Increased U.S. Sales

ImageAccording to CEO Nuri Otay of Ford’s Turkish unit, the plant is aiming towards a 50% sales increase in the United States for 2011. The Turkey unit is one of the finalists in the competition to supply New York taxis. Ford Otomotiv Sanayi AS is already commercializing the Transit Connect van for use as service vehicles in cities like Boston, Chicago, Washington and Los Angeles, according to Otay. He added that the demand for the Transit Connect van will increase in 2011. The car is being produced at a plant located in Kocaeli, Turkey.

Besides Ford and Karsan Otomotiv of Turkey, Nissan is also one of the finalists of the competition to replace New York’s 13,237-taxi fleet. The Karsan and Nissan models are similar to Ford’s Transit Connect, featuring a van-like design that offers improved fuel efficiency as well as more leg room and trunk space in comparison to the taxis we find on the road today.

The New York officials are aiming to reduce the costs of taxi owners by introducing one manufacturer for the entire city’s fleet, with durable cars designed to handle rough water and potholed streets over the course of a typical 70,000 miles (113,000 km) per year, said Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

According to spokesman Umut Canpolat, the electric Transit Connect manufactured in Turkey is used also as a service vehicle by many North American customers like the New York Power Authority, Southern California Edison Co. and AT&T Inc. The vehicles made in Turkey are shipped to the United States without their engines and once they arrive to Canada’s Azure Dynamics, they are equipped with electric motors and batteries. This type of Transit Connect is the only vehicle made by Ford Otosan that is being sold in North America.

Otay added that regardless of the final results regarding New York’s taxi competition, the United States sales will increase for the company. The contract for the taxis will be given in the first quarter of next year. He said that the vehicle market in Turkey will remain just about the same in 2011, at approximately 740,000 cars while the company expects a 5% increase in revenues and deliveries in 2011 for the North American market.

The Ford Otosan company will most likely manufacture about 240,000 units in 2011 and sell 300,000 (including imports of Ford cars that are made somewhere else, but sold in Turkey). The Ford Otosan company manufactures cars at two factories in a joint venture between Ford and Koc Holding AS, which is the biggest group of industrial companies in all Turkey. Each company owns 41% of the manufacturer and it is the second largest producer in the country, after the Tofas Turk Otomobil Fabrikasi AS joint venture of Koc and Fiat.

In a recent statement made in November, Ford announced that it is planning to invest $626 million in order to start making the Transit minibuses in Kocaeli, a project that will start in 2011, according to Otay. Ford’s Turkish venture has 6,150 employees and exports cars to more than 60 countries around the world. Ford Otosan is planning on increasing the number of sales of the cargo-brand trucks to Russia from the plant located in Inonu, central Turkey.

In the first three quarters of 2010, Turkey’s economy grew by a healthy 8.9% is the home of many automotive bases from Ford, Toyota and Fiat. About 75% of all cars that are manufactured in the country are exported. According to the Automotive Manufacturers Association of Turkey, located in Istanbul, the output of the cars made in the country will most likely rise by 32% this year to 1.08 million units, including here a 24% increase to 596,000 cars. (Source: By Adrian Padeanu, www.rpmgo.com )
Last modified onSaturday, 06 May 2017 10:07