German industrial giant MAN will start producing electric buses at its Ankara plant within two years. MAN Truck & Bus CEO Alexander Vlaskamp said the company’s electric trucks will enter the Turkish market in 2027.
German truck and bus manufacturer MAN continues its investments in Turkey, where it made its first investment outside Germany. The company, which started investing in Ankara in 1966 with truck production, has also been producing buses since 2004. MAN, which exports 95 percent of the buses produced at the factory, recently launched its Test and Product Development Center, which was established with an investment of EUR 45 million. This new investment added 1,000 new jobs and the total employment it provides increased to 4,000. The plant produces 18 buses a day.
The factory will also start producing electric buses two years later. MAN’s electric trucks will enter the Turkish market in 2027.
This investment reflects MAN’s faith in Turkey
Alexander Vlaskamp, CEO of MAN Truck & Bus, Barbaros Oktay, President of MAN Truck & Bus Bus Unit, and Tuncay Bekiroğlu, General Manager of MAN Truck and Bus Ticaret AS, talked about MAN’s new investment and plans for electric bus and truck production. Alexander Vlaskamp said that they have very important experiences in the Ankara facility, where they produce city and travel buses. Vlaskamp said that standard tests are conducted on trucks as well as buses at the Test and Product Development Center, and that this investment reflects MAN’s faith in Turkey. Emphasizing that MAN’s electric vehicles are part of the solution to the climate crisis, Vlaskamp said that they are also investing in solar energy parks and that they have realized a solar investment in Cape Town, South Africa.
All buses will be electric within six years
Barbaros Oktay, who started working as an engineer in Ankara in 2004, is now the head of the company’s bus unit. Reminding that they were able to produce 16 buses per week in the first period, Oktay noted that daily production has increased to 18 today. Barbaros Oktay said that they will start producing electric city buses and short-distance shuttle buses in two years at the Ankara factory, where conventional vehicles are currently produced, and emphasized that all production in this category will be electric within six years. Stating that the test center in Ankara is responsible for the entire development of the buses, including autonomous, digitalization and prototypes, Oktay said that 90 percent of the tests previously carried out in Germany will now be carried out here.
Stating that they have reached a localization rate of up to 80 percent in the buses they have been producing in Turkey for 19 years, Oktay said, “Volkswagen also has a regional purchasing office within our production facility in Ankara. From here, purchasing processes are carried out for all brands under the Volkswagen umbrella.”
Stating that they established a solar power plant consisting of 12,816 solar panels in Ankara, Oktay said that 45 percent of the factory’s energy consumption is provided by renewable energy.
Oktay said that they exported 410 million dollars in the January-September period. Noting that they are in the same conditions as all exporters in Turkey, Oktay complained that they could not see their way forward due to the fluctuations in the Euro/TRY parity. Oktay said, “The decisions taken by the new economic management and the works implemented help us in seeing the future.”
General Manager of MAN Truck and Bus Ticaret AS said that 33,300 vehicles were sold in the 6-ton and above truck market in Turkey last year, which is above the average of 22,000, and that they expect the figure to rise to 38,000 in 2023. Emphasizing that they will increase MAN’s sales figure from 2,200 to 2,400, Bekiroğlu said that they anticipate an increase in demand in the construction truck market next year. Stating that they will catch up with last year’s 1550 in bus sales, Bekiroğlu said, “Our presence in Turkey continues strongly. We serve with 34 service points and 9 dealers.” Stating that the electric trucks, which MAN started mass production of, have been put into service in the European market as of October 1, Bekiroğlu underlined that they will start to be sold in the Turkish market in 2027.
German Minister participates in test drive
During his recent visit to Turkey, German Minister of Economy and Climate Protection Robert Habeck visited the MAN Test and Product Development Center. Participating in a test drive of electric buses together with CEO Alexander Vlaskamp, Minister Habeck stated that to achieve climate targets, transportation must be decarbonized quickly and consistently.