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Ford to produce trucks in Eskişehir

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet | 6/27/2011 12:00:00 AM | EMRE ÖZPEYNİRCİ

Northwestern Turkey’s Eskişehir is to be one of the primary producers of Ford Otosan trucks thanks to a new deal. With a huge investment at the company’s plant, the firm will soon be exporting the Turkish-made trucks to 65 countries

Ford Otosan, a Turkish production company and joint venture between Ford Motor Company and Koç Holding, will begin producing cargo trucks in the Central Anatolian province of Eskişehir, Ford Otosan’s director general said.

“The new Cargo truck will be produced in the İnönü facility in Eskişehir and in Ford’s Brazil facilities. We will produce a total of 60,000 trucks, including 40,000 units in Brazil’s Sao Paulo and a total of 20,000 trucks in the Eskişehir facility as part of the One Ford strategy to be offered to the global market,” said Nuri Otay, Ford Otosan’s director general.

The facilities in Brazil will provide research and development, as well as design and infrastructure studies, enabling Ford Otosan to bring the truck to market within the next year, said Otay.

The trucks will be exported to 65 countries.

Ford Otosan produced its first truck, the model F600, in 1960, mainly for the domestic market. Ford Motor withdrew from the global truck market when it sold its truck unit to Iveco in 1986.

 Ford hopes its new cargo truck will make it a global force in the heavy truck market, Otay said. The company will increase the number of countries to which it exports trucks to 65 from 17.

“We will export annually 5,000 units of truck to different regions such as Central Europe, Middle East, Russia, Turkic Republics and North Africa,” the director general said.

The launch of the new trucks is expected to boost the volume of Ford Otosan’s truck exports to 300 million euros from 60 million within the next five years, said Olay. “This figure may reach 350 million euros, as the components of trucks to be produced in Brazil will be sent from Turkey.”

Moreover, Ford Otosan will increase production capacity at its İnönü facility from 10,000 to 15,000 units for the beginning phase, Otay said. In five years, he added, this number should increase to 20,000.

Otay also predicted that increased production would lead to boosts in employment. “In parallel to the capacity increase in the facility, there will be also increase in the employment rate.”

Ford Otosan has so far invested more than $400 million in the İnönü facility, Otay said. Product investment for the new cargo trucks will reach nearly $75 million, according to the company official.

As part of Ford’s new global production strategy, production of the new Transit Connect model will also begin in Spain by 2014, Otay said, but added, “We will continue producing the old model.”

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