The two models it will bring here initially – the 8.39m, 37-seat front-engined Navigo T midicoach and the 9.63m Vectio C bus – will be supplied and supported by partners in the UK and Ireland. This, Otokar says, will allow it to tap into their wealth of experience of selling and backing up coaches. But the company adds that it is already familiar with Western European needs. It supplied 144 units to France in 2014, and expects 2015’s total there to be similar; total production in 2014 was almost 2,500 coaches and buses, of which nearly 400 were exported. Growing its export volumes is one of Otokar’s priorities. French subsidiary Otokar Europe spearheads expansion in Western Europe and also supports existing ventures; besides France, it has a presence in Germany, Italy, Malta and Spain. Otokar Europe oversees the manufacturer’s growing business in the western half of the continent, but will not sell directly to the UK. Instead it will rely on soon-to-be-announced distribution partners. While just the Navigo T and Vectio C will come to the UK and Ireland to begin with, Otokar doesn’t rule out adding other models later. Though being front-engined, the chassis of the coach is built by Otokar specifically for passenger-carrying work. The 37-seat Navigo T’s 8.39m length and 2.29m width place it among the most compact midicoaches in its class. Power is from a four-cylinder Euro 6 Cummins ISB4.5 engine rated at 180bhp, coupled to an Allison 2200 five-speed automatic gearbox. According to the statement of the firm, one of the companies of Koc Group, Otokar has been providing solutions special to the needs of the customers with its own technology, design and applications since 1963. It is operating with over 2000 employees at the factory built on a land of 552,000 m2 in Sakarya. Otokar has been manufacturing buses for public transportation, semi-trailers for transportation and logistics industry and tactical wheeled vehicles and tactical armored vehicles for the defense industry. Being a hundred percent Turkish capital company, Otokar is today present in the automotive and defense industries with products of which intellectual property rights are owned by it. Being a leader in the bus industry and the land vehicles in the defense industry in Turkey, Otokar is the main contractor in the Design and Prototype Development Project of ALTAY, the national battle tank of Turkey.