Fiat Egea Hatchback rolled off the production line as 5 millionth vehicle manufactured at Tofas plant in the northwestern province of Bursa
Tofas has rolled off the production line of its 5 millionth vehicle which is regarded as an outstanding threshold in the automotive industry in the world. Remarking they had converted a giant plant providing jobs for 40 thousand people as supply chain and indirectly supplier industry, Cengiz Eroldu, CEO of Tofas said, “Beginning production with the car called Murat 124 and extended to 5 millionth vehicle in our travel we have enjoyed proud of letting 23 different models drive on roads up until now.
In this process the information accumulation we have gained I find important at least as much as the figures that we have achieved. It is not possible to gauge the value of know-how with material that has been gained during the years. This knowledge accumulation makes us a good product developer beyond being a good producer; it provides us a global competitive power. Today not only for ourselves, but also we take pride in producing technology for the sector. I thank all of our employees, dealers, all suppliers and supplier industry in our journey that has extended towards 5 millionth vehicle production.” Having laid foundations by the late Vehbi Koc, with the target of the Turkish automotive industry development and vision of making the people automotive owner in Turkey, Tofas Turk Automobile Factory rolled off the 5 millionth vehicle on Friday, 8th July 2016. The 5 millionth vehicle manufactured by Tofas was Fiat Egea Hatchback from Egea Model Family which was realized with the investment of $1 billion.
Characterizing a humble plant in its establishing year with the capacity utilization of 20 thousand units with some 600 employees, today Tofas has transformed to a giant plant with 400 thousand production capacity, with over 10 thousand employees and developing product for 7 brands concurrently. Cengiz Eroldu pointed out that they were proud of achieving 25% of the total production and exports of the Turkish automotive industry, adding 5 millionth vehicle was a result of the all stages that Tofas experienced. Reminding Tofas, which had been maintaining its activities in the partnership of Koc Holding and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA), had engaged mostly assembling production by the mid-1990s regarding industrial and economic conditions of that time, Eroldu highlighted crucial steps had been taken in formation of supplier industry in those years. Marking they had launched first big sized exports of Turkey with Tempra model in 1995, Eroldu underlined R & D studies that started in 1994 were beginning of a new period.
Stating with the Customs Union which had entered into force in 1996, so the European vehicles sold freely in the domestic market urged them into a brand new competition condition. “On the one hand as Tofas, we have started R & D studies, on the other we have become a single production center of Europe in Doblo production. So a crucial step has been taken for the Turkish automotive industry on the way being a commercial vehicle base of Europe. As for the next stage, it was a 15-year period following the year 2000. We have also entered product development for the markets abroad. We have raised our know-how in R & D, design and technology management to the level to develop product for the world markets. The projects of Doblo, Minicargo are the acquisitions of that period.
Today we have been at a more advanced level. We improve both product concept and product for different markets. So we have reached capability to make global product management. We are the single company being able to make ‘global product management’ with a model family in the Turkish automotive sector,” he noted.
Reminding they had been in a period focusing on development of new technologies in terms of production and product at Tofas plant, Eroldu said at the beginning setting out to be carmaker for many families in Turkey and then they had transformed to a global player exporting automobiles to many places across the world including North America accepted as a mainland of automotive industry.