WABCO, one of the world's leading manufacturers of braking systems and safety applications for commercial vehicles, held a ground-breaking ceremony in the northwestern province Sakarya for its first manufacturing facility in Turkey on Wednesday.
The company's plant will cost around $20 million and will sell to customers in Turkey, Europe and the Middle East.
The facility will eventually provide jobs for up to 600 people and will carry out exports worth at least $100 million a year, Industry and Technology Minister Mustafa Varank said in his speech at the ceremony.
The investments by the manufacturer in Turkey have grown in recent years. The new manufacturing facility follows the October 2018 opening of WABCO's distribution center in Istanbul.
In 2011, WABCO opened an international sourcing and purchasing office in Istanbul, which purchases parts and sub-assemblies worth over $50 million from a wide range of Turkish suppliers annually.
In the next four years, the company aims to increase the number of local suppliers it cooperates with in Turkey to 32, bringing its annual purchases up to $120 million.
"WABCO has transferred important funds due to purchasing activities in our country over the years, strengthening domestic suppliers. By establishing the logistics center in October 2018, it launched another important phase of the supply chain. Now, it completes all the links of the chain by also carrying out its production in our country," Varank said.
The minister noted that with the investment, WABCO would ensure that the country benefits from value addition as well as it will be manufacturing its final product in the country. In the past the company was procuring parts from the domestic automotive supply industry and was manufacturing its final goods in the factories abroad.
All sub-components in the production process will be supplied from Turkey, Varank said. He added that the first phase of the factory that will be completed in August will manufacture brake cylinders, hydraulic brakes and crankshafts for compressors. Construction for the second phase in which compressors will be produced will start afterward.
WABCO will be exporting a large part of the production to the automotive and commercial vehicle producers it works with across the world, with most exports going to European countries.
Turkey is the biggest automotive supplier of the European Union, Varank noted.
The industry and technology minister highlighted that 2020 will be marked by the launch of new mega-scale investment projects in chemistry, petro-chemistry, transportation technologies, integrated mining, defense and electronics. "With these new projects, we will maintain a healthy and sustainable growth trend that creates job opportunities. We aim to make Turkey a center of economic attraction with global investments," Varank said, noting that the ministry will introduce a more flexible structure for incentive schemes.
In order to attract more research and development (R&D) activities by global firms, the ministry offers great opportunities to firms operating in technoparks and R&D centers established by private sector firms. "Thanks to the R&D lab support program, leading global firms are able to find centers in Turkey," Varank said, calling on WABCO to establish an R&D center in the country.
The industry and technology ministry prioritizes policies to advance the current industrial capacity and localize production. "The technology-oriented industry program, technology and innovation fund, regional development fund and support schemes for entrepreneurs are some of the visionary programs the ministry implements," he said, adding, "We would like to see more private sector businesses to capitalize on the support programs at the maximum level."
WABCO in Turkey
The plant in Sakarya to be established on a 40,000-square-meter area – of which 8,000 square meters will be used in the first stage – will provide employment to around 300 people.
Delivering a speech at the ceremony, Jacques Esculier, WABCO chairman and CEO, called Turkey "an automotive country." He stressed the country is among the world's top 20 strongest economies, pointing to its high growth potential.
Underlining the company's trust in Turkey, Esculier emphasized that the company's customers and suppliers in Turkey have an important place in WABCO's global strategy.
"The new manufacturing facility will enable WABCO to leverage the local manufacturing talent base and benefit from the country's exceptional infrastructure and logistics capabilities," said Nick Rens, WABCO president for Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA).
"This will allow us to further strengthen our customer intimacy locally as well as export products from Turkey across Europe and the Middle East to further enhance WABCO's competitiveness in those regions," Rens added.
Since 1982, WABCO has established strong roots in Turkey, forging deep relationships across the country's commercial vehicle industry and building a strong leadership position in its market locally.
"The new facility will allow WABCO to progressively localize the manufacturing of its products supporting the local market. This will further enhance our service to local customers by delivering high quality, cost-efficient products with agility, speed and flexibility," said Kazım Eryılmaz, WABCO country leader for Turkey.
WABCO is a major global supplier of braking control systems and other advanced technologies that improve the safety, efficiency and connectivity of commercial vehicles.
The leading truck, bus and trailer brands worldwide rely on WABCO's differentiating technologies. Powered by its vision for accident-free driving and greener transportation solutions, WABCO is also at the forefront of advanced fleet management systems and digital services that contribute to commercial fleet efficiency. In 2018, it reported sales of over $3.8 billion and has more than 16,000 employees in 40 countries.
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