A Mercedes hub
The German carmaker is grooming Turkey to be a leader in luxury car production
Turkey has great importance for Mercedes due to its high quality standards and qualified workforce, Britta Seeger, Daimler AG Board Member responsible for Mercedes-Benz Cars Marketing and Sales, said during an interview with daily DUNYA at the Frankfurt International Motor Show. “We set an important example in the development of the industry in bus and truck production in Turkey,” she said, promising more investments in the country.
Seeger noted that MercedesBenz has been increasing investments in production facilities in Turkey for over 50 years, raising its stature in the company. “Today, Mercedes-Benz Turk has an important place in our headquarters in Germany with its production, R&D and IT network,” she said.
Mercedes started bus production in Turkey in 1968 and truck production in 1986. The company opened its Second Hand and R&D Center in 2009. The Global IT Services Center was established in Istanbul in 2013 positioning the metropolis as a base for IT. A new investment was initiated in the truck factory in Aksaray, Konya, in 2016 and their second R&D Center was launched in 2018.
“We believe in Turkey”
Seeger indicated that in addition to its production activities, Mercedes-Benz Turk today exports a wide range of products and services in the global ecosystem. “The most important reason for our increasing investments in Turkey is its commitment and qualification in production and a qualified workforce. We are a big family here in Turkey with more than 7,000 employees and network of more than 4,500 dealers,” she added.
“We will maintain leadership in car sales”
Mercedes-Benz car sales worldwide increased by 0.9 percent in 2018 compared to the previous year to 2.3 million units. The brand closed 2018 as the leader of the premium segment, maintaining its leadership position for three years straight. With 14,445 units sold in Turkey, the brand maintained its top spot since 2016 in the premium segment in Turkey as well. The goal is to maintain position both in Turkey and globally, Seeger noted.
The new A-Series Sedan, which hit the market in June, is expected to generate at least 10 percent of 2019 sales in Turkey, Seeger said. “We believe that this car will be one of the models that leads the Turkish market. A-Series Sedan will be Turkey’s car.”
Commenting on the contraction in the the automotive market in Turkey, Seeger noted: “The contraction in the automotive sector has continued since 2018. But I hope that this will not be longterm, and I believe that the next few years will be very exciting for all of us.”