Karsan gears up in export sales | Karsan


23 April 2018

Providing modern solutions to cities through developing public transportation systems, Karsan has geared up in exports. Explaining their preparations for taking the greatest leap in foreign markets this year, Muzaffer Arpacıoğlu, the Deputy General Manager for Commercial Affairs, said “This year, we will increase the rate of our exports from 45% to 65%. Our targets in Turkey are similar to last year. We plan on selling around 1,200 Jests and about 250 to 300 Atak Buses.” Mr Arpacıoğlu, who underlined that they had also moved forward in their electric vehicle projects, told that making an electric Atak was in their plans after the Jest Electric, by announcing that they will be manufacturing an electric version of their 8.1-meter-long Atak bus  in their Bursa plant.


Offering modern public transportation and commercial vehicles for the mobility needs of our age from its two factories located in Bursa, Karsan swings into higher gear in exports. Muzaffer Arpacıoğlu, the Deputy General Manager for Commercial Affairs, stressed that they saw the best progress in exports and indicated “We have tripled our exports between 2016 and 2017. In addition, we exported nearly 160 of the BredaMenarinibus brand buses. We sold 1,200 Jests in Turkey alsong with 60-70 Jests to overseas. As regards to the Atak, we sold 200 buses domestically and 70 in foreign markets. Lastly, we sold 30 Star vehicles. 


Target for Turkey: 1500 vehicles

Having underlined their plan to increase the share of exports in their total sales to 65% this year from its current share of 45%, Mr Arpacıoğlu mentioned their domestic targets, as well. He stated “Our targets for Turkey are similar to last year. We plan on selling around 1,200 Jests and about 250 to 300 Ataks. Star is a very specific vehicle. Our aim is to sell more Stars to overseas markets.”


The course of exports is set for Western Europe

Pointing at the significant position of the neighboring countries in targeted foreign markets, Mr Arpacıoğlu made the following remarks: “Romania is an important market for us. We have a significant number of Jest and Atak buses there. Bulgaria is another market that we focus on. Our main target, on the other hand, is Western Europe. We have just granted a distributorship in Italy. We are foreseeing growth in France. The number of our overseas distributors reached 11 last year. And this year, we will increase that number to 20. Other countries do not have minibus line operations like we do. It is Karsan’s aim to bring such public transport operations that are similar to our minibus lines. Another objective of ours is to increase the overseas sales of Atak, which shines out with its efficiency.”


Plans for an electric Atak!

As for electric vehicle projects, Mr Arpacıoğlu indicated “We are carrying out contract manufacturing for our strategic partners in addition to our own brand. We are building electric buses in partnership with Bozankaya firm under contract manufacturing. For our own brand, we make the electric version of Jest. The production is under way for Bozankaya’s electric bus. At the moment, there is an on-going production of electric buses for the Elazığ Municipality. Furthermore, we will manufacture the electric version of the Atak model. It may be finished by next year.” Emphasizing the need for subsidizing the production of electric vehicles, Mr Arpacıoğlu added “As of 2020, conventional vehicles will not be able to enter some cities in Europe. The works are under way to that end. Electric vehicles started off as a trend but right now the whole market is moving in that direction. However, it is not possible to make all vehicles electric overnight. The sales of diesel vehicles will continue for many years to come. In any event, the diesel will make up 80% of the sales while the other 20% will be electric.” 


“Our production schedule for the first 6 months is full”

Speaking about having achieved a progress in line with their targets in the first quarter of this year, Mr Arpacıoğlu said “We achieved a progress in line with our targets in the first three months of the year. The bus orders coming from overseas were a bit over our budget. We are undergoing a busy period in terms of production. Our production schedule for the first 6 months is already full. We are now collecting orders for the next six months.” Mr Arpacıoğlu continued that they had sold 50 Jest+ buses in the first quarter of the last year, and that this number would increase up to 200 in the same period of 2018. Mr Arpacıoğlu lastly added that they would be introducing the Euro 6 engine with automatic transmission in the Jest model, which will be offered for sale this year.