Turkish bus manufacturer Temsa, which has reached a share of around 10 percent in the U.S. market after its entrance in 2010, has made plans to build a production facility in Georgia with the aim of reaching over 1,000 units in the initial stage, Hurriyet Daily News reported.
Sabancı Holding's Temsa exported over 700 buses to the U.S. market in the last five years and now plans to begin production in Georgia with an expected investment worth over $10 million, according to company executives. Temsa will thus be able to bid in U.S. tenders, they added.
"We have become one of the biggest players in the U.S. bus market, although we are not U.S.-based. This is an honor for us in such a challenging market," said Sabancı Holding Industrial Group President Mehmet Pekarun at a sector fair in Atlanta, where the company exhibited its TS35 E model, specially designed for the U.S. market.
Temsa General Manager Dinçer Çelik said more than 700 Temsa buses were on the roads of more than 40 states of the U.S.
"We aim to increase this figure into the 1000s in 2016 with the great contributions of our foreign operations and business partners from the U.S.," he added.
"After we start production here, we'll be able to be a player in a 5,000-unit market rather than just being a part of the luxurious market with around 2,000 buses. In the initial stage, we plan to assemble our TS45 model, which is the most popular in the U.S. market," he noted.
The company has seen a strong demand from technological giants, according to company executives. Some 20 Temsa buses offer services to Facebook and one bus to Twitter. Temsa has also boosted cooperation with web search giant Google. Silicon Valley companies have asked for two wireless systems and 110-volt sockets from the company.
Temsa sold a record high numbers of buses in the Atlanta Fair at 17 and made pre-sale contracts for 35 busses, said company executives. A Temsa bus is sold for around $500,000, they added.
The company was recently invited by the American Highways Safety Administration to discuss bus safety standards.
"Buses have one door in the U.S. After three students lost their lives in a bus fire last year, the use of a second door has been put on the table. The U.S. authority has invited us to discuss this option," said Temsa R&D and After Sales Services Director İbrahim Eserce.
Temsa was founded in 1968. TEMSA's manufacturing facility in the southern province of Adana has a single-shift annual production capacity of 4,000 buses and coaches and 7,500 light trucks, totaling 11,500 vehicles per year, according to the company's website.