Ford Trucks enters Western European market, aims to raise exports to continent

DAILY SABAH WITH AA
ISTANBUL
Published 08.10.2019 00:45

After receiving the 2019 International Truck of the Year (ITOY) award for the F-MAX, an important indicator of the point that Ford Otosan has reached in truck production power and engineering capability, Ford Trucks has been in the spotlight in the world, according to Ford Otosan's statement. Having improved its dealership and distributorship structure in the Middle East, Africa, Central and Eastern Europe so far, Ford Trucks has entered a new phase with the ITOY award.

The truck maker has revised its global growth plans and rescheduled its process of establishing a dealer network in Western Europe to an earlier time. Ford Trucks, which has achieved global growth as a Turkey-based brand, aims to expand its dealership and distributorship activities to 44 countries by the end of the year and to have a presence in at least 80 countries by the end of 2023.

Ford Trucks opened its first facilities in the region in Portugal and Spain. These two markets, which will make significant contributions to Ford Trucks in terms of increasing its power in global competition as well as enabling the company to step into the Western market, are the gateways of Europe opening up to Africa. Spain and Portugal are also a logistics base with their major ports in the Mediterranean and Atlantic Ocean and among the countries with the deepest-rooted automotive industry.

Ford Trucks, which opened its first plant in Portugal through cooperation with Oneshop in Lisbon, plans to complete its construction in the other important cities of Porto, Leira, Algarve and Viseu by 2021. In Spain, Ford Trucks joins hands with F-Trucks Automotive Hispania, which has nearly 25 years of experience in the automotive industry. F-Trucks Automotive Hispania's nine separate locations in Spain's leading cities of Madrid, Barcelona, La Coruna, Bilbao, Seville and Zaragoza will serve as Ford Trucks facilities as of now.

Ford Otosan General Manager Haydar Yenigün stated that they are pleased that Ford has reached a groundbreaking position in the heavy commercial vehicle industry with its vehicles produced in Turkey, which is a product development center in the world. He pointed out that F-MAX is having an accelerating impact on the truck maker's global growth plans and that they have established a dealership and distributorship network on the three continents of Asia, Europe and Africa, saying: "We expect that we will operate in 44 countries by the end of 2019. Following the intense interest F-MAX has attracted, we have revised our global growth plans and taken our goal one step further to have a presence in more than 80 countries by the end of 2023."

"We have also seen the expectation of distributor companies and leading fleets in Western Europe to have F-MAX as soon as possible. After we received some 70 demands for dealerships and distributorships, we rescheduled our process of structuring in the region to an earlier time. We agreed with our first distributors on Spain and Portugal, where we have made rapid progress in talks and which have strong heavy commercial vehicle markets, and opened our facilities for service," he said.

50% of exports to Europe

Yenigün stated that Europe is the main export market and has great importance in the company's growth strategy with its potential, adding that their goal is to reach 50% of exports to European markets.

Indicating that F-MAX will be the driving force for them to achieve this export goal, Yenigün said they expect F-MAXs will constitute 70% of their truck sales to Europe. "Once our dealership and distributorship structure in Europe is completed, we expect that this rate will increase to 80%. In this context, we are continuing our negotiations to have presence in other countries in Western Europe. We are expecting that our structuring in Italy will be completed this year. Our primary target markets will then be Germany, France, the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg. Our ultimate goal with our Ford Trucks brand is to spread all over Europe," he told.

Emphasizing that progress in the European market would contribute greatly to Ford Trucks' global growth, Yenigün stated that Western Europe alone would create a potential market as big as the total countries Ford Trucks already operates in.

Highlighting that they design, develop and produce their products with their own internal resources and without being dependent on others, Yenigün noted that domestic transmission production, which they launched in 2018 with an investment of 49.5 million euros ($54.41 million), was an important step in this regard. "We will soon start producing transmissions in our Eskişehir facility and will be one of the few global truck manufacturers in developing and manufacturing three important product groups of engines, axles and transmissions by 2021. We are increasing our domestic and competitive power through investments in our testing and production centers, as well as in our products," Yenigün concluded.

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