OTOKAR: “INCREASING EXPORT VOLUME AND BECOMING A GLOBAL BRAND”
Turkish bus manufacturer Otokar announced at Busworld Turkey (5 – 7 March) it has added two new bus variants to its European bus programme. The Territo U range is expanded with a schoolbus and the Kent U family has a new low entry member. Also Otokar announced that the Kent 12 metre electric, e-KENT C, will go in production this year.
For the Turkish market Otokar has named its mini- and midi bus range Sultan and Doruk were in the rest of the world they are known as Navigo T, Agilo C and Ulyso. It showed three versions. First the Sultan Mega, an 8,5 meter bus with a total capacity of 35+1+1 people. The Sultan LF is elsewhere known as Agilo C of 8.3 metres and offers high engine power with high torque value at low speeds and a lightweight frame. The Sultan Comfort is a 7,2 metre minibus suited for tourism, school and personnel shuttle operators and has 29+1 passenger capacity. The 10 metre Doruk T, known as Ulyso T in export markets, comes standard with 39+1+1 placing and optional 43+1+1. The vehicle offers safety systems such as full dry-air disc braking system, ABS, and EBS, as well as driver assist technologies including lane departure warning system (LDWS), advanced AEBS braking system, ASR, and ESP as standard.
Otokar, a Koç Group company, is exporting its products to 50 countries. According to H. Basri Akgül, Assistant General Manager, Otokar was in 2019 Turkey’s most preferred bus brand. Although Otokar’s revenues reached TL 2.4 billion (app 360 million euros), an increase of 45 percent and the export volume increased by 78 percent to 303 million euros, Akgül said Otokar remains focused on long-term goals without being affected by short-term volatilities despite the uncertainties across the globe and tightening in the domestic market. “We determined our strategy as increasing our export volume and becoming a global brand.” This is underlined by the share of exports in total revenues that reached 80 percent. Otokar increased its bus export volume by 29 percent. Especially Malta, Romania, Italy, Serbia and France are among Otokars target markets. The total vehicle park in France alone has now exceeded 2,200 units. We received a fourth order from Malta, where Otokar buses are used widely, bringing the total number of our buses in Malta to over 240. We also completed the deliveries of Bucharest Municipality’s order last year.”
According to Akgül the 7-10m small and medium bus and the 12-18m public transport bus segments shrank more than 50 percent in domestic Turkish market. “Despite this we still closed the year as the leader of our respective segments in total. One out of every three buses sold in Turkey was Otokar branded. We also reinforced the public transport fleets of municipalities across Turkey and increased its share in the 12-18m public transportation bus market by 9 points.” In 2019 Otokar invested TL 136 million (20,5 million euros) in R&D. Over the last ten year this adds up to TL 1.1 billion (165 million euros).