Turkish automotive executive to run Fiat’s new US plant

Turkish automotive executive to run Fiat’s new US plant

Emre Özpeynirci - ISTANBUL
Turkish automotive executive to run Fiat’s new US plant A top executive of Tofaş, a joint venture between Turkey’s Koç Holding and Fiat-Chrysler Automotive (FCA), has been transferred to run FCA’s new U.S. factory in Michigan. 

The director of Tofaş’s factory in the northwestern province of Bursa, Akın Aydemir, will head the Sterling Heights Plant in Michigan, where FCA plans to spend around $1.5 billion on retooling in a bid to build the next-generation Ram 1500 pickup truck after it stopped production in Mexico. 

The automaker’s decision to move the Ram production to the Sterling Heights plant likely secures thousands of jobs there for years to come in the era of U.S. President Donald Trump, who has called for U.S. companies to produce and create jobs at home. 

Tofaş’s Bursa factory, which has been run by Aydemir since 2010, has been the most productive and profitable plant in the FCA group. 

Aydemir graduated from the Mechanical Engineering Department of the Middle East Technical University in 1987 and holds an MBA from the Thunderbird School of Global Management in the U.S.  

He began his career as an engineer at Olmuksa in 1988. He served as assistant manager for Body Manufacturing at Toyota S.A. from 1990 to 1996. In 1997, he became the production manager at Honda and was appointed as engineering manager at Honda Canada in 1999. In 2001, he started at the RWD Company in the U.S. and worked as a consultant in Lean Production for Ford, Chrysler and GM until 2003. At that time, he became the Lean Production Manager at Gates. From 2005, he ran lean production applications in Alcoa’s European plants and joined CNH Canada, within the Fiat Group, in 2009. Since 2010, he has been the Industrial Operations Director at Tofaş.