Ford Otosan factories operating in Turkey will begin to produce parts for Ford vehicles that are purchased worldwide. Recently the factories have established a purchasing department according to officials. Indications are that the country may turn into an alternative supply center for Ford. Having an alternative supply center has been highlighted by the impact of the coronavirus on China and production lines within the country.
The new purchasing department opened at the Ford Otosan factory has 35 employees and has been operational for the last two months. The department will supply auto parts globally for Ford vehicles from Turkey. One official specifically called out Europe as a location for the parts supplied from Turkey. Currently, factories in the country produce light commercial vehicles, and the Ford Transit is one of the most popular models made there.
The vast majority of those commercial vehicles produced in Turkey, 85 percent, are shipped to Europe. One Ford Otosan executive says that the reason Ford chose the factories in Turkey to produce auto parts had to do with the company’s approach to the supply chain and its infrastructure. Turkey can be turned into a global auto parts producer because of its ability for timely delivery, high quality, stability, and continuity of supplies.
One official said that currently, Turkey has been mainly affected by the European market rather than the Chinese market. Company officials also note that Ford Otosan intends to begin producing the first electric commercial vehicles in Turkey by 2021 with that vehicle to be sold globally. Production of a plug-in hybrid version of the Transit has started production in Turkey and is being sold in Europe. Late last year, Ford also began testing a platooning capability for autonomous trucks in the country.