Milliyet - The joint venture (JV) between Ford Motor Company and Turkey's Koc Holding is ramping up engineering activities in Turkey as a part of its new global strategy 'One Ford'. The company has broken ground for a new research and development facility in Sancaktepe, Istanbul, set to be Turkey's largest facility focusing solely on automotive design and development.
Costing TRY 60 million (approx. USD 31 million), Sancaktepe Engineering Center will unite Ford-Otosan's existing engineering capabilities in Turkey in a single facility. The company has been running design and development operations for a number of years in its three plants in Turkey. The Gebze Engineering Center, opened in 2007, will continue to function after the Sancaktepe Engineering Center becomes operational next summer. Complete with a design studio and test labs, the Sancaktepe facility will employ 1500 people, predominantly engineers.
"The new engineering center is critical for Ford's 'One Ford' strategy as Turkey is a key manufacturing center for Ford-branded commercial vehicles marketed in Europe and elsewhere.", Ford Europe's Vice President of Product Development, Barb Samardzich said at the ceremony. “Ford Otosan has all the required talent to design, engineer, manufacture, and test a vehicle from the ground up. This facility is a great accomplishment for Turkey's auto industry.", she added.
Under the company’s One Ford strategy, which envisions a more integrated production that utilizes different subsidiaries’ production capabilities to have more ‘global’ models instead of diversified vehicles for different regions and markets, Ford relies heavily on its Turkish arm, Ford Otosan and its particular expertise in the light commercial vehicles, vans, and heavy trucks.
The company has two operational and one under-construction production plant in Turkey which can manufacture a total of 400,000 vehicles per year.