BUSWORLD TURKEY: the bus mirroring life
21.05.2012 — Analysis
Being the world's second biggest bus trade fair after BUSWORLD KORTRIJK, the International Trade Fair for Bus Industry achievements, which was held in Istanbul, has proved another time that Europe is changing over to Asian transport vehicles. Turkey, to a greater extent than China, is prepared for expansion into the Old World.
In the opinion of the jury that consisted of about 60 journalists from Turkey and other countries, including the head of RusBusinessNews, Otokar had the best stand design at BUSWORLD TURKEY 2012. Almost half a century after its starting business, Otokar launched Turkey's first electric bus Doruk (Vectio) Electra.
The newborn was exhibited in a very unusual way. The bus body was turned into a screen featuring videotaped Istanbul with its recognizable symbols - the Blue Mosque, the Grand Bazaar, the Bosphorus Bridge...
Visitors of the exhibition were drawn, like through electromagnetic force, to Electra – to look at the Istanbul life mirrored in the bus windows. The Otokar display evidenced not only a manifest breakthrough of the company that moved up to a new production level, but also triggered the discussion about the adequacy of the bus industry’s response to the present-day concerns of society.
At the opening ceremony, the BUSWORLD founder Luc Glorieux made a few thesis statements that resonated with Otokar’s video installation.
The fourth BUSWORLD TURKEY International Trade Fair attracted 197 participants, including 56 companies from 20 foreign countries. Over three days Istanbul Expo Center hosted nearly 12 thousand trade-related visitors. What trends could they see?
On the whole, the Turkish company is aiming at 5% of the European bus market by 2016, counting mainly on Sultan (Navigo) buses shorter than 10 meters. Within the last two years Otokar has been leading the field in its home country. In 2011 the company sold 1,190 buses, having boosted sales by 38%. At present, Otokar buses can be seen in the streets of 60 countries of the world.
Mercedes-Benz Turk A.S, the main sponsor of BUSWORLD TURKEY, occupied the largest exhibition area - 1,200 square meters. It would take almost the whole day to see and learn about numerous microbuses of various types and impressive coaches.
The third player on the Turkish bus market - BMC, which over 47 years of its operation has produced 315 thousand buses and is making every effort to keep its niche both at home and in other countries. Today BMC is exporting its products to more than 80 countries worldwide. Similar to Mercedes-Benz Turk A.S, it puts emphasis on manufacturing of hybrid buses. However, the most eye-catching model was the bus having a wheelchair emblem on the window, which was even more interesting to visitors than its environmental compatibility.
Mehmet Erdogan, the president of TOFED, was proud to state that buses carry 200 million passengers in Turkey annually. BUSWORLD TURKEY 2012 demonstrated that the Turkish bus manufacturers are ready to raise the bar to the new record level.
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