Manufacturers in Turkey have called for more investment in automotive logistics from foreign companies, particularly from Germany. Both Ford and tier one supplier Avon Automotive have pointed out opportunities in the Turkish markets, saying that now is a particularly good time to investment, even as the market has seen huge drops.
The crisis in the transport industry is an opportunity to step in new directions, but logistics providers should have already adapted to the situation with training initiatives and operational strategies, according to Michael Kubenz, President of the German Association for Freight Forwarding and Logistics (pictured). “The process should already be finished,” he said at last week’s Transport Logistic event in Munich, Germany.
Kubenz highlighted automotive as an important sector in German logistics that was seeing “a drop in orders in dimensions we have not seen before” and he noted the reduction in rail volumes of 30% because of its dependence on certain industries.
But he also stressed that looking at other markets during the downturn, and cited Turkey as one of the most important.
Turkey is by no means a new market for Germany, traditionally one of its important trading partners, with strong automotive logistics links. However, Kubenz believes there is more opportunity, and invited delegates to a special forum ‘Logistics potential on the rapidly growing Turkish market’.
“Turkey…offers logistics companies excellent opportunities,” he said. “The logistics sector in the country accounts for 4-5% of total economic output. It has tremendous growth potential and offers good opportunities for foreign investors.”
Cengiz Kabatepe, Assistant General Manager for MP&L at Ford Otosan acknowledged that the Turkish automotive market was increasingly linked to Germany. “Between Germany and Turkey foreign trade, especially in the automotive sector, is increasing,” he told Automotive Logistics. “Germany is one of the main markets for Turkish finished vehicles to be exported and also Turkey is importing both components and vehicles from Germany.”
However, as an export market for finished vehicles, things were not looking so good in the first quarter, with Uludag Exporters' Association reporting a 59.2% drop to $506.3m from $1.2 billion last year.
Nevertheless, Baris Dogan, Manager of Supply Chain and Logistics at Avon Automotive, said that “there are still things to be done” even though the relationship was already strong. “For decades Germany has been capturing the highest percentage of foreign trade operations… the speed of growth has been higher in the last five years [but] still there are more opportunities to explore,” she said. “Foreign direct investments have substantially increased and the current economical circumstance is the right time to seek partnerships or joint ventures to enjoy local market expertise at affordable conditions.”