By Aysenur Saglam
Turkish producer of transportation vehicles Bozankaya is ready to manufacture the country's first indigenous metro car, the company's chairman said.
"We invested over €50 million (nearly $60 million) in our rail transportation vehicles production center," Aytunc Gunay told Anadolu Agency.
He added that the company has capacity to produce 300 metro and 300 electric-buses annually.
"We will take part in several projects with our high production capacity and our international cooperation," he stressed.
Bozankaya, in cooperation with Siemens, has made the country's first-ever metro car export -- Bangkok's metro line -- worth $46.1 million at the end of June.
Gunay said Bozankaya-Siemens joint venture will also produce 105 metro cars for a project in Thailand.
- $30M R&D investment in 5 years
Dursun Cicek, the company's research and development (R&D) director, said Bozankaya is a strong brand in the area of eco-credential, energy-saver and noiseless rail systems and electric-run vehicles.
The company spent over €25 million (some $30 million) on R&D projects in last 5 years and earned over €100 million (some $120 million) from products which developed as a result of R&D activities.
R&D expenditures' share in the company's total sales is 7 percent, and it has nearly 100 researchers in its production center in the capital Ankara where nearly 1,000 personnel works.
In 2017, he noted, the market size of rail system was €176 billion ($199 billion) in the world and it was expected to reach €2.2 trillion ($2.57 trillion) within 10 years.
Turkey also plans to invest €70 billion ($82 billion) in rail system area until 2035 and Bozankaya submitted projects to the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey, Cicek added.
"We aim to reduce external dependence in rail system, to fulfill Turkey’s requirement with national resources and to have a voice in the global market."
Bozankaya, founded in 1989 in Germany and moved to Turkey in 2003, is also known for producing Turkey's first indigenous fully electric bus.
*Gokhan Ergocun contributed to this story from Ankara