Otokar, a leading Turkish automotive and defense industry company, grew 16% in 2015, posting turnover of TL 1,434 million and net profit of TL 80 million. In the market for buses with 25 or more passengers, the Company was Turkey's most preferred brand for the sixth year, and it became the export leader of buses under 7 meters. In 2015, Otokar maintained its position as Turkey's leading armored vehicle manufacturer in the defense industry. It was also recognized by the Undersecretariat of Defense Industry with a 1st Prize for its successful performance over the last three years.
Otokar increased its exports by 77% on a TL basis in 2015, bringing the share of exports in total turnover up to 29%. Otokar took international orders for armored vehicles to be used in United Nation's Peacekeeping Missions; the first exports of the Ural 4x4 vehicles took place in 2015. The Company reported increased sales for buses in its target market Europe – particularly in Germany, Belgium, France, Spain and Italy – and maintained its position as France's small bus brand of choice. Otokar also carried out Turkey's largest export shipment of right-hand drive buses to Malta in 2015. In addition, the Company rolled out its articulated city bus at the Busworld expo in Belgium.
The Company remained the domestic market leader in the small to medium bus segment; one out of every three buses sold in this segment in Turkey bore the Otokar brand. The Otokar Atlas light truck continued to be extensively used in the public services sector. Furthermore, Otokar was a standout in the trailer market with its domestic transport vehicles.
As Turkey's largest private sector defense industry company, Otokar collected the first two orders for the COBRA II vehicle from the domestic market in 2015; in addition, it carried out shipments of the URAL and COBRA vehicles specially designed for security forces. The Company expanded its product range with the ARMA 8x8 exploration vehicle, which is designed to counter chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear threats, and with the addition of the tracked armored vehicle TULPAR-S.
As part of the Phase I Turkish National Main Battle Tank Design and Prototype Manufacturing Contract signed under the Modern National Tank Manufacturing Project (Altay) between Otokar and the Undersecretariat of Defense Industry (SSM) on 28 July 2008, development processes and prototype manufacturing were completed in 2015. Work on system qualification and approval testing is ongoing. Pursuant to the applicable articles of the contract in force, Otokar submitted to the SSM its bid for the Altay Project Phase II Mass Production Project, which covers the mass production of 250 tanks and the provision of their Integrated Logistic Support activities. SSM is expected to issue an opinion on the mass production process following an assessment on the submitted bid.
Otokar places great emphasis on key issues such as the environment, human rights, corporate governance, supplier relations and social responsibility, and embraces the UN Global Compact principles. The Company joined Borsa Istanbul Sustainability Index in 2015. The same year, Otokar received OHSAS 18001 certification in occupational health and safety.
Awards and achievements
Outlook, targets and strategies for 2016
Otokar expects a contraction in the commercial vehicle market in 2016 as a result of new Turkish regulations for Euro 6 emmission that will go into effect and rise vehicle sales prices. However, the municipality bus market is forecast to gain momentum due to previously postponed demand. Keen to maintain its leadership position in the Turkish bus market, the Company also aims to expand its exports by entering new overseas markets. The Company plans to boost its trailer market share and increase light truck sales with new products specially designed for the domestic market.
In the defense industry, Otokar plans to continue its efforts in export markets while focusing on the delivery of orders it collected last year. The attention garnered from Turkey's allies toward the Altay Project, whose first phase is scheduled for completion in 2016, suggests that Turkish defense industry exports are set to rise over the long term.