Possibly the most highly-coveted title in the truck industry, the "Truck of the Year" Award, was won this year by the Turkish IAA newcomer Ford Trucks with its F-Max. With the 500 hp long-haul truck from the joint venture between Ford Trucks USA and Ford Otosan (Istanbul, Turkey) on board, Willi Elbe provides a complete steering system consisting of steering column, steering spindle top (ball screw with CV joint and end wall seal) and steering spindle bottom (steering spindle rigid with support bearing). It makes us especially proud that we were able to contribute to this outstanding success from the first order onwards. This success began in May 2014, during the initial visit to Ford Otosan in Turkey.
There, our development manager Ralf Sedlmeier and our key account manager Raffaele Brosi were able to convince both the technology and purchasing departments of our premium solutions during the course of intensive discussions and, despite the presence of well-known competitors, to attain the F-Max steering train order to Tamm or Kuklen. Production is already running, with a running time until 2027 and an average of 6,600 units per year. Our plant in Kuklen, Bulgaria, supplies the steering columns while our plant in Tamm supplies the steering spindles. The strength of our performance both then and now in this initial customer project can be seen from how satisfied Ford Otosan were: an additional order for steering spindles in the mid-range sector, with production starting in October 2019 and running until 2027 with 10,500 units per year, has already been placed. We would like to sincerely thank our Turkish customers along with all those Elbe employees involved in Germany and Bulgaria.
Ford Otosan Company, located in Gölcük near Istanbul, was founded in 1956. The company is owned by the Koc conglomerate (family company, 42% share) and Ford Motors USA (42% share). The remaining shares are publicly owned. The Koc Holding is a Turkish consortium listed on the stock exchange, with 85,000 employees worldwide and an annual turnover of 39.5 billion US dollars (in 2017, source: Wikipedia).