Dünya – Germany’s Siemens, a global industrial production, energy and healthcare company, is spending EUR 30 million on building a tram factory in the Gebze district of Kocaeli near Istanbul.
Not only will trams made at the plant be sold here but Siemens’ transportation division will also utilize the country’s strategic location to access nearby markets, including several in Europe.
“Siemens trams are chosen for the light rail systems of many countries and will be exported from Turkey. We aim to have a localization ratio of 50 percent for the trams to be manufactured in the Gebze plant by relying on local suppliers,” said Siemens Turkey’s transportation unit head, Cüneyt Genç.
The Gebze factory will become operational in 2017, initially employing 300 people. Production will start at 100 trams per year, which can be expanded to meet demand and make new models, according to Genç. Siemens also plans to invest in an R&D center to accompany the tram plant to develop and engineer mobility solutions.
As part of its nation-wide transportation upgrade program, the Turkish government plans to acquire billions of euros worth of light rail sets for urban transportation in the coming years.
The country will also invest heavily in its railways, increasing the length of tracks to 26,000 kilometers – nearly double the current 12,000 kilometers – of which high-speed lines will make up 10,000 kilometers.
A tender for the acquisition of 80 high-speed train sets, which is being closely followed by global rail companies including Siemens, is expected to take place this year.