Temsa takes good look at the market

In its third edition, the Indian extension of the world’s most famous bus and coach exhibition in Mumbai last month showed that buses are good business even in a recession. Temsa Global, the bus manufacturing company of the $17 billion Sabanci Group, a leading Turkish industrial and financial multi-business group, showed its Safari high-deck coach. The company is studying the feasibility of setting up a plant in India to build buses and coaches for the domestic market, SAARC, and Southeast Asia.

Autocar Pro News DeskBy Autocar Pro News Desk calendar 04 Feb 2009 Views icon5296 Views Share - Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Whatsapp
Temsa takes good look at the market
In its third edition, the Indian extension of the world’s most famous bus and coach exhibition in Mumbai last month showed that buses are good business even in a recession. Temsa Global, the bus manufacturing company of the $17 billion Sabanci Group, a leading Turkish industrial and financial multi-business group, showed its Safari high-deck coach. The company is studying the feasibility of setting up a plant in India to build buses and coaches for the domestic market, SAARC, and Southeast Asia.

Ravi Chaudhry, chairman of Cemex Consulting Group and representative of the Investment Support and Promotion Agency of Turkey, told Autocar Professional the study, being undertaken by Cemex on behalf of Temsa, will be completed by the end of March.

The 40-year-old company first started manufacturing buses for the Turkish market 20 years ago and first entered the Western European market eight years ago with technical assistance from ace former Neoplan bus designer Bob Lee, who retired from its services only last month.

Temsa believes India offers better potential than China as a location for its second plant outside Turkey. In April last year it started building buses and coaches in Cairo for the markets in the Middle East and North Africa. Following its first experience of working in a joint venture in Egypt, where the local partner holds 35 percent, Temsa is examining whether to work with a partner here or go it alone.

Autocar Professional learns that the company might tie up with the JBM Group, which has long expressed an interest in entering the bus business with a foreign partner. Temsa is exploring locations all over India, Chaudhry said, revealing though that it sees more favourable prospects in Rajasthan and Gujarat. The company plans to introduce its full range of coaches, intercity buses, midibuses, and low-entry city buses.

Business development director Ömer Sözütek said the company has been looking to expand into Asia, and is evaluating various countries, but declared India as the most likely candidate. “The available capacity in China is already very high, and the modernisation of the industry and market there has already taken place.

India on the other hand offers great potential as the modernisation has only just begun,” he explained.

While its European product portfolio extends from city and intercity buses and midibuses to luxury coaches in lengths from 7m to 14m, eventual production in India will begin with a version of the Safari HD coach it showed at the third Busworld India exhibition. While this model is available in both, monocoque and semi-integral structures, the bus displayed at the exhibition was a monocoque.

Sözütek said he saw no particular difficulty in manufacturing an integral coach in this largely chassis-based market, but said the company would use a rigid front axle instead of the independent setup on its European model because of the road conditions. “Our R&D mindset is very flexible when it comes to customisation for different customer and market requirements,” he added.

The company is approaching this market in a very thorough fashion and is in no hurry to sell a few hundred buses. “We will enter only when we are sure we can sustainably meet the needs of the Indian market with components sourced virtually 100 percent from India,” Sözütek said. While Temsa typically uses engines from MAN and DAF for its coaches and intercity buses, it will use Cummins in India because of their reliability and excellent service network. It will also use Eaton gearboxes in India, although transmissions from ZF are usually specified in Europe. Again, while the coach on display had axles from ZF, Autocar Professional learns that a Temsa team recently visited Meritor in Mysore to discuss axle supplies.

Sözütek revealed that the company attended the recent Vibrant Gujarat global investor summit in Ahmedabad and is keen to participate in the Bus Rapid Transit system being set up in that city. “Based on their technical specifications we will determine which of our products is most appropriate for their requirement,” he said.
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