The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is providing a €140 million long-term loan to leading Turkish commercial vehicle maker Ford Otomotiv Sanayi A.Ş. (Ford Otosan), to finance a far-reaching investment programme to develop high-tech truck engine parts and expand production capacity, while providing greater employment opportunities for women.
The financing to Ford Otosan includes a €70 million five-year loan for the Bank’s account and the remaining €70 million will be syndicated to HSBC, Société Générale, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ and Crédit Agricole on the same terms.
Ford Otosan is a joint venture between Ford Motor Company and Turkish conglomerate Koç Holding, each holding a 41 per cent equity stake. The rest of the shares are listed on the Istanbul Stock Exchange.
The company will use the EBRD financing to develop – in close cooperation with Turkish universities and suppliers – a new Ecotorq engine to be used in heavy Ford Cargo trucks. Ecotorq is set to lead the way in terms of energy performance, service lifetime and maintenance cost. It will be the first Turkey-manufactured engine to comply with Euro VI emissions standards, a new norm set by the European Union to reduce emissions from heavy vehicles.
The Bank’s investment will also help the company develop new truck models and will increase the production capacity at its plant in Inönü, Eskişehir in north-western Turkey, to serve the needs of the domestic market and meet demand in neighbouring markets. Ford Otosan sells to 79 countries and accounts for more than half of Turkey’s commercial vehicle exports.
Its three Turkish production plants – Gölcük, Inönü and the Yeniköy facilities in Kocaeli – represent Ford Europe’s commercial vehicle production hub in the region and employ almost 10,000 people.
EBRD is also supporting Ford Otosan to improve corporate standards and practices enabling more women to pursue careers in a traditionally male industry while setting a strong example for other players in the market.
Announcing the deal, EBRD Director for Manufacturing and Services, Frederic Lucenet, said: “The EBRD’s financing will help Ford Otosan to develop what will be a cutting-edge engine for heavy trucks. But more importantly, this investment is about creating synergies: a leading market player Ford Otosan is joining forces with the brightest minds at Turkish universities and local suppliers of auto parts to create a new high-tech product, and is bringing more women – an under-used workforce – into a sector dominated by men.”
Mike Davey, EBRD Director for Turkey, added: “We are delighted that with the EBRD’s support Ford Otosan will be leading by example in order to transform Turkey’s automotive industry, the country’s most important exporter and a major employer. It will not only tap into research and development potential of the local academic institutions and numerous companies in the supply chain, but will also increasingly involve women in its operations. This will make Ford Otosan more competitive, while driving innovation and positive change in the sector and in the country.”
General Manager of Ford Otosan, Haydar Yenigün, further stated: “As the leader of the Turkish automotive industry for the last 12 years, Ford Otosan targets success in all fields including production, research and development (R&D), export and employment. As Ford’s commercial vehicle production hub in Europe, vehicles manufactured in our production facilities are exported to global markets. In addition, Ford Otosan’s Inönü plant operates as one of the two global production centres that manufacture global Ford Cargo trucks with Ecotorq engines. Ford Otosan, which has the largest R&D organisation in Turkey and the third-largest in Ford globally, serves as Ford’s global light and heavy commercial vehicle development centre as well as the global diesel engine calibration centre.”
He continued: “For the past two years, Ford Otosan has received the ‘Gender Equality in Working Life Award’ from the Ministry of Labour and Social Security. I would like to thank the EBRD for supporting Ford Otosan’s successful performance and encouraging our lasting cooperation with suppliers as well as local academic institutions.”
Since the start of its work in Turkey in 2009, the EBRD has invested over €3.5 billion in the country across 120 projects.