Ford Otosan ramps up modernised van plant in Yeniköy

The Ford Otosan joint venture has inaugurated its extensively modernised Yeniköy plant in Turkey. The latest generation of the Ford Transit Custom and Tourneo Custom is rolling off the production line there. The electric versions will launch next year.

Image: Ford Otosan

Ford Otosan claims to have invested two billion euros in expanding its Kocaeli site, including Yeniköy. The plant, which opened in 2014, is expected to reach its full production potential by the middle of the decade following its remodelling. The manufacturer aims to build 405,000 vehicles per year there. With the factory, Ford Otosan “is setting new standards for producing multi-energy commercial vehicles at scale.” The innovations include newly integrated solar technology, AI management and noise-reduced assembly lines.

Particularly worth mentioning are the photovoltaic glass walls, which, together with solar cells on the roof, generate electricity on-site. In addition, the solar wall technology also heats the water for the plant and thus reduces natural gas consumption. Ford Otosan aims to be climate-neutral in all its plants in Turkey by 2030.

The manufacturer also emphasises its intention to use virtual production simulations in the future using real-time data and artificial intelligence. That should help to “optimise production efficiency and allow nimble responses to demand fluctuations, supply of components or variations in production processes,” according to the press release. Yeniköy now also has a multi-storey arrangement of welding and assembly halls, which should also increase efficiency.

“As the smart factory of the future, the Yeniköy plant manufactures flexibly, efficiently, and more sustainably; implementing advanced technologies for fully connected and versatile production,” summarises Güven Özyurt, general manager of Ford Otosan. “The Yeniköy plant represents the future of our business, and it will help us meet the growing demands of our customers who seek cutting-edge design, smart, and zero-emission vehicles now and in the years to come.”

“The state-of-the-art Yeniköy Assembly Plant is already helping Ford Pro enhance quality for customers and as one of the world’s most efficient automotive production facilities is setting new standards for producing multi-energy commercial vehicles at scale,” says Hans Schep, general manager at Ford Pro, Europe. “Ford Pro has been Europe’s top-selling commercial vehicle brand for the past eight years. As a leader we want to enhance the ownership experience for our customers with transformative technologies, and by expanding our vehicle offering and streamlining production and engineering.”

Ford Otosan is a listed joint venture between Ford Motor Company and Koç Holding, founded more than 60 years ago. The new Transit Custom and Tourneo Custom will be manufactured in Yeniköy. Series production of the electric E-Transit Custom and E-Tourneo Custom is also scheduled to start in 2024. The first customers are expected to use the electric duo in the summer of 2024.

The E-Transit Custom is one of four new electric commercial vehicle models Ford Pro intends to offer in Europe by 2024. The manufacturer plans to offer the E-Transit Custom with a single or crew cab and as an estate. Depending on the body variant, there will be a choice of two wheelbases and two roof heights. In the panel van version, the new E-Transit Custom offers a load volume of between 5.8 and 9.0 cubic metres and a load compartment length of up to 3.45 metres. The payload is up to 1,100 kilograms. And the towing capacity of up to two tonnes also deserves attention. This figure is one of the best among lightweight electric vans.

With its light electric van, Ford is primarily targeting small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). An important element alongside electrification will be Ford Pro. By this, Ford means its ecosystem for services relating to (electric) commercial vehicles, which will be spun off as a separate vehicle service and sales company in 2021. The goal is to increase vehicle utilisation and productivity and reduce costs.


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