- Extension of one of the most sophisticated bus and coach production plants in the world, production quality on a par with Western European levels
DaimlerChrysler AG opened its extended bus and coach plant in Hoşdere near Istanbul – one of the most sophisticated bus and coach production plants in the world – on June 18, 2005. The Turkish subsidiary of DaimlerChrysler AG will con-tinue to transfer all of its bus and coach activities to this site, which covers more than 360,000 m², has a built area of 115,000 m² and is equipped with the neces-sary state-of-the-art production technology. Standardised processes and technologies to Western European standards ensure the same level of quality as that produced by all the other DaimlerChrysler Buses and Coaches plants, thus making Mercedes-Benz Türk A.Ş. an integral part of DaimlerChrysler’s bus and coach business in Europe.
High-quality urban buses, rural-service buses and touring coaches displaying the Mercedes star are built to international quality standards at the new Hoşdere plant, which operates six days a week. Helping to achieve these high standards, the in-house material analysis laboratories are the points at which the materials, oils and supplied components used in vehicle production undergo exhaustive quality testing based on the very latest test criteria as applied in Western Europe. Currently some 60 to 70 % of the buses and coaches produced in Hoşdere are exported, supplying over 70 countries throughout the world, the main sales markets being located in Eastern and Western Europe, on the Arabian Peninsula and in North Africa. Mercedes-Benz Türk A.Ş. currently employs a workforce of around 2,500 for its bus and coach activities.
Achieving increased productivity and, above all, quality to the highest international standards were the overriding objectives behind the reorganisation and restructur-ing of the Hoşdere plant. In addition to the new bodyshop and a new energy centre, a sophisticated cathodic dip priming installation entered into service in late 2004. Like its counterpart at the Mannheim bus and coach plant, this cathodic dip priming installation can handle entire bus and coach bodies, so no part of the vehicle is missed when the primer is applied, even those areas that are inaccessible in con-ventional, manual application processes. No other bus and coach production plant in the world can provide better corrosion protection for the entire vehicle body, including the skeleton, panelling, attachment fixtures, welds and bores. So the bus or coach operator can expect a longer service life as well as a higher resale value.
As part of the expansion programme, state-of-the-art job-planning and development facilities were also installed at the Hoşdere plant. The new centre for bus and coach development and testing implements measures to fulfil individual customer requirements, develops new products and readies these products for series production. In addition, peripheral installations such as the central heating facility and the sewage plant have been extended and equipped with highly sophisticated technology to meet the increased demands. Furthermore, the infrastructure has been enhanced by erecting a new energy centre. This in-house electricity generating plant has an output of eight megawatts and supplies the Hoşdere plant with all the electrical energy it needs.
1995: Hoşdere bus and coach plant formed
When the company erected a second bus and coach production plant in 1995 – the original plant in Davutpaşa was opened in 1967 – its main objectives were to extend the product range, to boost capacity and productivity and to increase quality to the levels demanded by the Western European export markets. The main areas to benefit from the first wave of investment at the Hoşdere plant were the paint-shop, the assembly halls and the finishing section. The vehicle bodies were produced at the Davutpaşa plant, where the primer was also applied, before being loaded onto special vehicles bound for the Hoşdere plant. After arriving in Hoşdere they were then painted, assembled and readied for delivery.
2005: a single location for bodyshop and assembly activities
The second wave of investment, during which a total of € 75 million was injected into the facility, is now drawing to a conclusion, marked by the opening of the extended Hoşdere plant complete with a bodyshop, parts production hall and cathodic dip priming installation as well as job-planning and development facilities. All of the bus and coach production activities of Mercedes-Benz Türk A.Ş. are now concentrated at the new plant.
Panels for all bus variants as well as the complete bodyshells for the Mercedes-Benz Tourismo and Conecto models will continue to be produced at the Davutpaşa plant for the time being. Bus skeletons without primer applied are shipped from Davutpaşa to Hoşdere where they are immersed completely in the cathodic dip priming bath before being forwarded to the final assembly section and then handed over to customers. The plant in Davutpaşa, which has already been sold, will be closed for good in 2007, the plan being to gradually transfer all production activities to Hoşdere.
During the ten-year period from 1995 to 2005, DaimlerChrysler AG invested a total of around € 150 million in the expansion of its bus and coach activities in Turkey.