Turkish automotive suppliers are identifying Russia as a key battleground in their bid to secure further business as their domestic market starts to peak.

The Turkish Automotive Industry Exporters Association (OIB), brought a sizeable delegation to last week’s Russian Automotive Forum organised by Adam Smith Conferences in Moscow, to capitalise on the emerging market some have speculated could reach 3.1m and even 4m units.

“It is very clear in Turkey we have limits,” OIB board member, Sukru Tetik, told just-auto in the Russian capital. “I am [in] this industry for the last 32 years and we came up to 1.3m cars per year – it does not seem that will increase.

“In Russia it is increasing of course, there is future here [and] we are the solution. Today the Russian supply base needs entrepreneurs [and] we have good examples in Turkey.

“In Russia we are working with the Minister of Trade and Industry and we will have a very, very fruitful meeting in Ankara together with him and his executive team.”

Tetik emphasised the need for smaller players such as T2 suppliers and below to be present in Russia as well as the larger, more established component makers. “These small parts are important,” he said.

The OIB board member – who described the Turkish city of Bursa as “the Detroit of Turkey” said he had been designated by the Ankara government as the civil authority for trade co-ordination between his country and Russia.

Part of that includes a team working for Tetik in the Turkish Embassy in Moscow, with reports being compiled every three months for the administration in the Bosporus.

Tetik said there were nine Turkish suppliers currently operating in Russia, which have been certified by OEMs such as Ford, Renault, Fiat, Toyota and Honda.

“We are delivering their parts to factories in Turkey and Europe. It is already approved – that is a big advantage,” he said.”

The OIB board member noted the situation had changed radically between the two countries – who used to share a border in Soviet times – since previous military hostilities.

“Historically, we had wars between Turkey and Russia,” said Tetik. “But always we treated each other as, let’s say, [an] honest enemy.”