South Korean tech giant Samsung is planning further investments in Turkey as it plans to produce white goods at its facility in the Marmara region as of this May. Samsung took its first step in the Turkish market with television assembly and is gearing up to make similar investments to further secure its position in the market. Samsung Electronics Turkey Chairman DaeHyun Kim said it is of great importance to understand Turkey's dynamics in order to become permanent in the country. He was speaking at the Samsung MENA Forum 2019 in Antalya.
The event showcased the latest gadgets and products to the company's many partners in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.
"We first expanded our service and after-sales services, followed by the expansion of our channel and dealer structure," he noted. "Now we are placing great emphasis on our investments and co-operation on the production side. Samsung wants to be permanent in Turkey. Therefore, we are investing in three pillars consisting of service, channel and production."
Kim said that they took the first step in this direction with television assembly. He added that they currently assemble 55 percent of the televisions sold in Turkey locally. "We plan to increase this rate to 80 percent this year," he continued. "We used to assemble only 32-inch, 40-inch and 43-inch models in Turkey. But now all models up to 65 inches are assembled here."
He said they have also started manufacturing their built-in products in Turkey. Kim added that they will start producing vacuum cleaners in May, followed by the production of up to 10 models. "We will also produce washing machines in Turkey," he said.
Kim pointed out that television and vacuum cleaner models will be produced in the Marmara region while white goods will be manufactured in Central Anatolia's Kayseri. He added that they have managed many processes themselves, especially quality control. "One of the most important issues is that Samsung transfers its production experience to Turkey through domestic cooperation. Because we control all processes, especially quality control. We also make a significant contribution to local producers," he said.
Kim underlined that Turkey is a very big and young country with 20 million households. He noted that 1 million households, which corresponds to 5 percent of this figure, have the purchasing power in the premium segment. "This is an advantage for us. In fact, one of the most important issues is that more premium products are sold in Turkey than in Europe," he further stressed. "The average screen size of TVs sold in Turkey is larger than in Europe. In order for Turkish consumers to reach better products, we need to produce top models such as 65-inch and 75-inch televisions in Turkey."
Mert Gürsoy, vice president of Consumer Electronics Sales and Marketing at Samsung Electronics Turkey, said according to GFK market research data, in 2018, they grew 2.5 times more in the TV category in terms of Turkish lira with regards to turnover. He said that they have led the Turkish TV market in turnover for the last three years.
"We closed 2018 as the leader with 24 percent of the market share. We reached up to 27 percent last month. In the upper segment models, we have a 39 percent market share in 55-inch models and above, 67 percent in 75-inch models and above and 37 percent in the Ultra HD TVs," he said.
He noted that the company has been the fastest growing brand in the white goods industry for the last five years with a market share of over 20 percent. "We reached a 48 percent market share in refrigerators and 30 percent in washing machines. While many brands reduced their investments, we continued at the same pace and closed 2018 with growth," Gürsoy said.
Gürsoy was also cited by Turkish daily Sabah as saying that the company aims to increase the number of stores in the country from 300 to 450.