Haydar Yenigün, General Manager, Ford Otosan
Our strategy is, and always will be, to offer our customers products with advanced technology, high quality, modern design, durability and comfort with a rationale price positioning.
Could you tell us about the global Cargo Project of 2010?
Development of the new tractor, the Ford Cargo 1846T, started in 2009. It was launched in 2013, and is available in South American markets through Ford Motor Company, Brasil. Ford Cargo is also available in the Turkish Market, as well as export countries assigned through Ford Otosan. Introduction of this product led to an entrance in the extra heavy segment in South America. It also led to rationale tractor segment entrance in the Turkish market.
Also, having launched global 1846T model, high sales numbers were reached in 2013 and 2014. As per market indicators, the new global model is well accepted and recognized by the target customers in terms of attributes like performance, cost of ownership and comfort.
Meanwhile, some of the minor improvements identified as per the market demands, the most requested items were developed. Field surveys show that perceived quality and brand recognition of the vehicle have significantly increased during the last two years. In addition to these actions, 1846T Low Liner (940mm 5th wheel height) model, derived from the base 1846T, was also launched in 2014. This new model is able to carry mega trailers which require lower 5th wheel height. This low deck version is in great demand from logistics companies which work on international transportation as volumer.
How many units of 1846T have you sold so far around the world?
Globally, the total sales volume is approximately 5,000 units.
What feedback did you get from your major markets? Is it the ‘right’ global truck you expected?
This vehicle is the ‘right’ vehicle to compete with other OEMs in the growing tractor segment. To analyse customer satisfaction and demands, an ‘Anthropological Field Study’ was conducted in 2014 by an independent company, executed by academicians including sociologists and antropologists. The results so far show that we are moving in the right direction.
In Moscow, in 2013, you said you had an Euro VI engine for the New Cargo. Is it ready for production?
New Ecotorq Engine Family is being developed from scratch by the Ford Otosan engineering team in-house and will be ready by the beginning of 2016. Currently, it is in the development phase.
The New Ecotorq Engine Family will be available with Euro6, Euro5 and Euro3 emission levels. New engines; 9L (modified) and 13L (all-new) will have a wide range of power outputs.
This engine family includes harmonised high tech hardwares and intelligent algorithms – calibration of which will take Ford Trucks to the highest rankings in terms of Cost of Ownership.
What about Ford Trucks sale and service network?
In local market, re-establishment of Ford Trucks 4S dealer network is in progress. By end of 2015, we will have 30 Ford Trucks dealer points in Turkey, all having newly designed facilities in line with Ford Trucks corporate identity and standards. Till date, 24 of them have became fully operational. In the export market, we have a vision to enter 59 countries, including Russia, the Middle East, Gulf countries, United Arab Emirates, North Africa, Sub Saharan Africa, Eastern Europe and Central Europe. Currently, our dealer and distributor network is spread over 20 different countries. Our mid-term plan is to create a robust distributorship and extend dealer network for the remaining countries in the export markets.
What about your sale strategies for the future? Do you plan to sell your products in Western Europe too?
Our strategic vision is to be a player in the 59 assigned markets actively. According to our export growth strategic plan, the first step is to be in Central and Eastern Europe.
Recently, you launched Ford Trucks products in UAE and announced that you plan to expand your sales in Gulf Countries. Are those countries the new ‘battleground’ for truck manufacturers?
These markets are very attractive and promising in terms of growth potential. Most European truck manufacturers and some Chinese brands have also been there since the early phases of the market.
Our forecast is that the Middle East heavy commercial vehicle market will grow bigger in the mid-term due to the growing construction business in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Iraq, etc.
Another important initiative is the Memorandum of Understanding with Avtotor Holding in Russia. Can you tell us about this initiative?
Most truck manufacturers have facilities to build vehicles in Russia either through a joint venture company or on their own. The reason behind this is that local manufacturing provides tax exemption, which brings a competitive price advantage.Until this year, we used to export our vehicles to Russia. We could not achieve a competitive price positioning in the market against local manufacturers. As a strategic move, we decided to be a local player in the market and started cooperating with Avtotor Holding, an appropriate and experienced partner in Russia, as our contract manufacturer.
In some cases, Chinese truck manufacturers, thanks to their joint-ventures with Western European truck manufacturers, are focusing on the same markets as Ford Trucks. How do you plan to overcome your Asian competitors?
At Ford Trucks, our strategy is, and always will be, to offer our customers products that have advanced technology, are of high quality, have modern design, durability and comfort with a rationale price positioning.