In spite of the experiences of recent years there are positive developments. One of these is the attitude and investments of foreign giants in Turkey… Some companies are shifting their investments, others are relocating their management headquarters to Istanbul. There are also those who are increasing production and establishing logistical bases. The forecast is that this trend will continue.
TURKEY HAS SOARED IN GIANTS’ TURNOVER
Whenever they are interviewed, virtually all of the managers of the foreign companies active in Turkey say a few sentences about what an important market Turkey is. They note the size of its potential. They stress Turkey’s strength in international organizations. Some even say that they are going to ‘produce in Turkey’ or make it ‘a commercial base’. Most of the time these statement don’t attract much attention. They are regarded as ‘classic’ and nobody seizes upon them. But when one evaluates the multinationals’ Turkish operations one by one, the reality becomes plainer to see. It is clear that for most of them their investments in Turkey have a very important place in their international organization.
P&G’s target country
For Procter & Gamble, which is one of the leaders in the rapid consumption products sector, Turkey ranks third in terms of P & G’s operations in the 49 countries of its Central and Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa Region. The company entered the Turkish market in 1987 with cleaning products and since 2000 it has directed its operations in the Caucasus and the Central Asia Republics from Istanbul
Three companies’ new strategy
Together with Brazil and China, Tofaş is one of Fiat’s most important production centers worldwide. The production of the Doblo in particular has strengthened Tofas’s strength in the international organization. The Doblo has been accepted both in Turkey and on foreign markets and has demonstrated Tofaş’s automobile production capacity. In 2002 Tofaş produced 108,336 vehicles, raising this to 127,268 in 2003. Its target for 2004 is to increase its turnover by 30.2 percent compared with 2003.
Visa is one of the companies for which Turkey plays an important role in its international operations. Visa Turkey is included in Visa’s EU Region of 26 countries and ranks fourth in Europe in terms of the number of cards. In terms of card units it is the third largest market in the EU. The number of cards in Turkey accounts for 10 percent of the total in the EU Region. Moreover, in 2003 in terms of the number of cards, Turkey was the fastest growing market in the Visa EU Region and the second fastest growing market in terms of card use.
In 2003 in terms of sales Turkey ranked 20th in Pfizer’s international operations in 89 countries. It ranks first in the Africa-Middle East Region. The more than 20 executives that Pfizer has sourced from Turkey occupy important places in the company’s international organization.
Ford: 7th in Europe
In terms of sales performance, Ford Otosan ranked 7th in Ford Europe’s European markets. During the first five months of this year it ranked six with sales of 47,386. Ford Europe has sales and marketing activities in 21 countries.
Ford Otosan Marketing Manager Özgür Yücetürk says that their target is to be ranked amongst the first five by the end of the year.