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Tofaş to lead integration of Turkish suppliers into Fiat Chrysler’s global supply chain

One of the leading automotive companies in Turkey, Tofaş, a joint venture of Turkey’s Koç Holding and Italy’s Fiat Chrysler, has closed a deal that will pave the way for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) to purchase auto parts from Turkish suppliers for worldwide use.

The high-quality parts will be used in FCA production facilities across the globe, Tofaş said in a statement Saturday.

Tofaş added that the company adopted domestic production as its main strategy from the beginning of its manufacturing.

Tofaş led Turkey in the establishment and development of the nation’s automotive supply chains in the ’70s and ’80s and played a pivotal role in research and development (R&D) works in the ’90s.

Today, the company is helping local suppliers establish a more solid position within global supply chains in the post-pandemic world. Considering that there will be long-term changes in supply chain management, Tofaş is playing a support mechanism role for Turkish producers by assisting in finding new markets.

If the current deal with FCA concludes with a purchasing decision, additional export opportunities will occur for local suppliers.

Tofaş CEO Cengiz Eroldu, whose views were included in the company statement, said the pandemic triggered a global supply chain management review and a potential transformation.

“Turkey’s advantageous location and the quality of its supply industry could bring significant opportunities,” he said.

From this perspective, Eroldu said, Tofaş has been “sharing the technical capabilities and competitiveness capabilities of suppliers in Turkey with FCA for a while.”

“As a result of our work … we have agreed to work with FCA for the proposal of certain parts. We do this work independent of the production at Tofaş, to create additional export volume for our suppliers and to benefit FCA,” the Tofaş CEO said.

Eroldu stated that they have taken steps to establish a bridge between local suppliers and the London-based automotive group. As such, he said, “(the FCA) will start to work with 15 of our suppliers, which we consider an initial stage. We hope these efforts will trigger larger volume purchases in the future.”

He also stated that the company has created appropriate platforms to identify application areas and establish collaborations with domestic tech companies to increase supply chain productivity through the use of digital technology.

Eroldu added that Turkey has to carry its competitiveness beyond just its labor advantages and closeness to Europe as it strengthens its position in ever-changing global supply chains.

“Thus, we attribute great importance to establishing bridges between suppliers and technology firms,” he said.

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