Supplier Day of Mercedes-Benz Türk with 350 guests. In Aksaray, Central Anatolia. A city you can't ignore. At least not when it comes to vehicle production.

Admittedly, there are more high-profile cities in Turkey. Ankara, Istanbul, or Izmir. Nonetheless, Aksaray has been a fixture in economic history for centuries. Situated directly on the historic Silk Road, the city has always benefited from the trade between East Asia and the Mediterranean region. Aksaray, some 250 km south of Ankara, is an important backbone for the global production network. About 20,000 trucks came of the assembly lines of the plant in 2015 – production record for the site. In the beginning of the year the truck production started with Euro 6. Currently, all various models of the Actros are build in Aksaray. The plant has been in existence since 1986 and about 2,000 people work here. So far. In fact, the plant is being expanded. Production capacity will double until 2018 with a target headcount of 3,000 employees. Aksaray was therefore the perfect location for the Supplier Day of Mercedes-Benz Türk.

The truck plant of Mercedes-Benz in Aksaray. About 20,000 trucks were produced here in 2015.

“Strengthening the contact to our suppliers while at the same time also scouting for new partners for future projects,” is how Britta Seeger summarizes the purpose of the event. Seeger, President and CEO of Mercedes-Benz Türk, had traveled from Istanbul to Aksaray to this end. The trip was worth it: “We had some good conversations. Not just for the trucks and buses production divisions, but for cars as well.“

The hostess during the official welcome: Britta Seeger, President and CEO Mercedes-Benz Türk.

Italy or Turkey? Which country produces more vehicles? The answer might surprise many. Turkey was very clearly ahead in 2015: with 1.36 million vehicles produced across all manufacturers, opposed to 1.01 million vehicles in Italy. One can expect Turkey’s lead to grow even more in the coming years. In tow: the supply industry. The figures speak for themselves in this regard as well: Turkey is among the top 5 of the BCC (Best Cost Country) Sourcing-Index Ranking. Thus, Turkish suppliers have the opportunity to grow globally with Daimler.

We were able to steadily increase the procurement volume from Turkey over the past few years. A major impetus for this was the 2012 Supplier Day, but the positive experiences with Turkish suppliers in the commercial vehicle sector are a good basis for us as well

Dr. Klaus Zehender, Member of the Divisional Board Mercedes-Benz Cars, Procurement & Supplier Quality

This means that the suppliers can benefit directly from the increasing sales: Either through supplying Daimler plants directly or settlement in the vicinity of the production sites. The vast experience of the Turkish suppliers in the passenger car business is also an advantage. Amongst others, Renault, Hyundai, and Toyota have production sites in Turkey. Prerequisite for a future cooperative partnership: innovativeness and top quality.

Intensive talks: old acquaintances and new faces, too.

The Supplier Day in Aksaray was held on May 10 and 11. Split up into two half days. After the presentations on the first day, the delivery building of the plant was completely reconfigured overnight. Stage, video walls, and 350 chairs went out, a bus, a truck and ten booths went in. Anyone looking to delve into the technical details had the opportunity to do so. Especially in the case of the components presented at the booths. The motto here was: touching expressly permitted!

Touching permitted: components at the market stalls.

Existing partnerships were strengthened, new contacts were made. Intensive reviews in the following months will determine in which areas the existing cooperation can be stepped up and whether new suppliers will also be brought into the fold. All participants of the Supplier Day already agree on one thing: Aksaray was worth the trip.

Contact for Turkish suppliers at Mercedes-Benz Cars:

Cuma Findik, cuma.findik@daimler.com

May 19, 2016
Rasmus Muttscheller