Five decades of Ford Transit vans - the first was built in Europe in 1965

Five decades of Ford Transit vans - the first was built in Europe in 1965

Ford Otosan – the Turkish joint venture owned by Ford and local company Koç Holding – will invest 950m Turkish Lira (approximately $630 million) in its Kocaeli production facility "to support future manufacturing initiatives for the Ford Transit" light commercial vehicle lines.

The plant builds both the 'full-size' Transit van and cab-chassis models - an iconic line dating back to 1965 - as well as the newer, smaller, Transit Connect range exported worldwide, including to the US.

"Ford Otosan's Kocaeli Plant is the lead plant and main manufacturing centre for the Transit, one of Ford's most iconic nameplates. This investment will ensure that the Kocaeli plant remains at the forefront of global manufacturing capability and also will help us to build further the Transit's long history of success," said Stephen Odell, chairman and CEO, Ford of Europe, in a statement.

Ford Otosan general manager and operations head, Nuri Otay, said: "This significant new investment in future production at Kocaeli will help to secure the plant's existing capacity and employment level for many years ahead."

Otosan now books $3bn in export revenue annually, making it one of Turkey's leading export businesses. The Transit is exported to over 60 countries from the plant which employs 6,150 people. Some Transit variants are also manufactured at Ford's Southampton Plant in the UK, and there are local assembly operations in China and Vietnam.

Ford Otosan (Ford Otomotiv AS) is a publicly traded company, with Ford Motor Company and Koç Holding as equal shareholders. Celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, it is one of the oldest and most successful joint ventures in the global automotive industry, according to Ford.

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