15 Nisan 2011 Cuma

Ford Otosan’s Cannis ‘excited’ on opportunities in Turkey

Ted Cannis, the deputy general manager of Ford Otomotiv, attended the Autoshow expo in Istanbul.

Ted Cannis, the deputy general manager of Ford Otomotiv, attended the Autoshow expo in Istanbul.
Ford sees the economic boom in Turkey as an exciting opportunity, according to Ted Cannis, deputy general manager of Ford Otomotiv, a joint venture between the U.S. company and Turkey’s Koç Holding.

Speaking to Hürriyet Daily News & Economic Review during the Autoshow in Istanbul, Cannis said that everyone he speaks with “agrees on how great the Turkish economy has been doing so far.”

Ford Otomotiv is currently investing $630 million in its existing factory in the northwestern province of Kocaeli. With this investment, Ford Otomotiv will start producing the popular Transit vans in Turkey.

According to company data, Ford Otosan made nearly $3 billion from exports almost every year in the past five years.
Noting that Ford has been the market leader in Turkey for the past decade, Cannis said 2011 will be “a great year” for the company. Turkey is an “attractive long-term investment location” for global vehicle manufacturers and suppliers, he said. Next year will be “even more interesting,” as the production of the company’s first electric vehicle will start in Turkey. The BEV model electric car and the Connect BEV will be produced in Turkey and exported to North America and Europe.

Ford’s second full-electric model, the Focus BEV, will be introduced to the European market in 2012.
“Next year six new models, 17 unique technologies and eight new engines will be introduced to the Turkish market, at the same time as global markets,” Cannis said.

“The sweet competition between Ford’s European and American teams has come to an end, as they united their strength to introduce new models globally.”

Lucrative profits

This strategy seems to be bearing fruit, as Ford Motor posted a third quarter net income of $1.69 billion in Oct. 26. The figure represents the highest quarterly profit in the company’s 107-year history. In comparison, Ford Otosan posted a third-quarter profit of 112.3 million Turkish Liras. The figure is up from 92 million liras for the third quarter of 2009.

According to Turkey’s Automotive Industry Exporters’ Association, in the first nine months of 2010, the total volume of car exports rose by 12.4 percent compared to the previous year, to $11.4 billion from $10.2 billion a year earlier. Nearly 561,000 vehicles have been exported from Turkey in the first nine months of the year, which represents an annual rise of 30 percent. Turkey’s top five markets in car exports are France, Italy, Germany, Britain and Spain. Romania and Russia also are promising markets.

However, Cannis complained that consumption taxes are “very high” in Turkey and said there is a need to reduce them to stimulate domestic demand. He pointed toward the growth potential of the Turkish automotive industry: “Considering gross domestic product per capita and other economic indicators, you would see a much bigger industry in another country. We’d like the government to reduce taxes. That would be better for everybody including consumers, the government and the producers in the long run.”

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