Training highly qualified and economic engineering staffs in recent years through eight universities, Izmir distinguishes itself in research-development and product development.
High engineering salaries in Europe began to drive foreign companies to head towards Izmir. Delphi Automotive Systems LLC in the Aegean Free Zone opened its fifth technical center in Izmir. Manufacturing equipment for diesel engines, the company plans to enhance both its capacity and engineering content at Izmir Technical Center.
The number of engineers at Delphi will reportedly be increased from 65 to 200 in just a few years.
Mesut Köseoğlu, Factory Manager at Delphi, provided information regarding their R&D activities in Izmir, noting that they are developing diesel fuel injection equipment for passenger vehicles as well as light and medium duty commercial vehicles. Expressing that the company expanded through an intense investment of infrastructure and employment over the last 3 years, Köseoğlu reported that their R&D department has been licensed by the Ministry of Science, Industry and Technology in 2011, making it the first and only one in the free zone.
FIFTH CENTER: IZMIR
“We have been designated as Izmir Technical Center by Delphi Engineering Management at the beginning of this year, making us the fifth technical center of the group in Europe. We plan to expand and develop in terms of engineering content and capacity in automotive electronics and system engineering fields as part of the large-scale investment and employment plans for 2014-2016. Surely, high engineering salaries in Europe have an influence here. Izmir has engineer staffs that are both economic and highly qualified, thus beginning to become a base for R&D and P&D,” explained Köseoğlu.
TIME CALLS FOR RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
Manager of the Izmir Technical Center, Ernur Kazancı told that they intend to utilize the advantage of cost and efficiency and attract more business to Izmir in the fields of production and engineering. “This factory was founded because of the advantages this city offers. Back in the day, this factory became operative for transfer of some products in France. We currently stand at a good point in terms of cost advantages. We are not the cheapest, but we are competitive. We want to reinforce production with our engineering staff. We’re building the system ourselves now. We’re developing products. Our R&D department consists of 100 people, 65 of whom are engineers. 25% of these engineers have MSc degrees. We plan to increase the number of our engineers to 200 in a couple of years. We’re also going to work on softwares and we’re recruiting 16 engineers for this purpose,” remarked Kazancı.
Working in cooperation with a number of major companies, Delphi’s facility in Izmir is reportedly the pilot factory for certain products. Mesut Köseoğlu adds, “We employ 100 engineers in our R&D department from basic engineering fields such as mechanical, electronics, supply and aerospace for the purpose of developing and industrializing products working under high pressure and heavy conditions. We have products, completely bearing the signatures of engineers in Izmir. Our most recently developed product enabled us to sign an agreement with Audi. We have many more products like that.”
YEAR OF GROWTH
Expressing that the past year has been rather difficult due to the stagnancy in the automotive market in 2013, Köseoğlu notes that now is a time of recovery. “Our target for this year is to achieve 10% growth and a revenue of 140 million USD. Our plan is to increase that figure to 155 million USD next year. These products impact our growth.”
HÜRRİYET EGE/ METE TAMER OMUR
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