Dünya – MAN’s Neoplan brand of buses under the company’s Truck & Bus division will be solely produced at the company’s Turkish plant. The German automotive manufacturer, which specializes in heavy vehicles, has commissioned a new production line at its Ankara plant for Cityliner, Jetliner, and the upcoming Skyliner models, making Turkey its export hub for Neoplan brand buses.
Speaking at the roll-off ceremony, Turkish Minister of Science, Industry, and Technology, Fikri Isik said that MAN’s selection of Turkey to relocate its bus production would be an important addition to the country’s exports and employment figures, while boosting quality in the local supply industry.
“Turkey’s production of motor vehicles has reached 1.2 million units in 2014, up from 2002’s 357,000, while automotive exports hit USD 18.1 billion up from USD 3.3 billion in the given period,” Isik said, adding that the government’s aim was to increase local research and development in the automotive industry as well as manufacturing capabilities.
“Recent investments in quality and efficiency have turned the MAN Turkey plant into an exemplary facility in the company’s network. The production of premium models such as the Cityliner, Jetliner, and Skyliner at the Ankara plant ensures the Neoplan buses’ future in the market,” reported MAN Truck & Bus Board Member Carsten Intra, who added that the company was planning to add design operations to its Turkish unit.
MAN Turkey commenced operations in 1966 as MAN’s first production plant outside Germany. The Turkish division currently exports to 41 countries. The company’s plant in Ankara’s Akyurt district is manufacturing buses and coaches at a rate of 2,000 vehicles per year while employing 1,800 people.
Turkey has extensive expertise as a production base for heavy commercial vehicles, as MAN, Ford, Daimler, Karsan, Isuzu, Otokar, Temsa, and BMC all have bus and truck plants in the country.