By Eda Fatma Topcu
American company Wabco launched its first distribution center with an investment of nearly $17 million in Istanbul on Thursday.
The center will enhance the distribution capabilities for Wabco, and support the needs of local aftermarket customers, original equipment manufacturers, and trailer builders in Turkey.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, Arda Ermut, head of the investment office of the presidency of Turkey, said that regardless of political relations, investors look at how the environment is favorable or unfavorable for investments.
Investments of Wabco are important in terms of demonstrating the continued confidence of U.S. companies in Turkey, Ermut said.
Ermut added that Wabco's investment is significant both for rising the competitiveness in the automotive sector and increasing the added value.
Noting that investors' confidence in Turkey continues, Ermut said: "I consider this investment as a very important and encouraging step."
Jacques Esculier, CEO of Wabco, noted that Turkey is a "very important" country for Wabco, adding that the distribution and logistics center will increase the business volume with Turkish customers, in the first place, and with the suppliers in the near future.
"Besides Turkey, it will also become a regional center for investments in the future," he added.
Nicolas Bardot, WABCO Chief Supply Chain Officer said that: “Powerfully demonstrating our commitment to Turkey and building on our major $50 million annual spend in the country, we strongly believe that our investment in this cutting-edge new distribution center will help further contribute to the growth of the commercial vehicle industry in the region.”
Kazım Eryilmaz, chairman of Wabco Turkey, said the company has been operating in Turkey for years, adding that it eyes $120 million procurement volume in the coming four years.
Established in Turkey since 1982, Wabco, opened an International Sourcing and Purchasing Office in Istanbul in 2011 with commodities ranging from metals to rubber and casting to forging, as well as assembly parts, according to its website.
Wabco -- founded nearly 150 years ago -- is the global supplier of braking control systems and other advanced technologies that improve the safety, efficiency and connectivity of commercial vehicles, it added.
In 2017, Wabco reported sales of $3.3 billion and has nearly 15,000 employees in 40 countries, its' website revealed.
* Jeyhun Aliyev contributed to this story from Ankara