A strategic partnership with HAPPICH
A few months ago ILERI signed a strategic partnership with HAPPICH GmbH, the world’s leading interior outfitter for commercial and specialist vehicles. Suleyman Isik, ILERI Group’s Sales & Marketing Director, explains that according to the partnership agreement signed with HAPPICH, ILERI will produce locks, principally rotary latch locks and associated fittings particularly for the Commercial Vehicles. Until this partnership came about HAPPICH had been manufacturing rotary latch locks, one of its main products, in the Far East. The transport of the products from Asia to the European bus manufacturers used to take six weeks by sea. Now that the production will be at ILERI’s Gebze plant, the transport times are reduced to one week only and can occur overland. The local bus market in Turkey will benefit from an even more direct route from ILERI to their plants.
While HAPPICH will enjoy the new shorter transit periods for their products, which will improve service to its clients, ILERI will exclusively produce locks and related fittings with HAPPICH – ILERI brand which will exclusively be distributed by HAPPICH through its Global distribution infrastructure. According to Mr Isik, the reason HAPPICH decided to choose ILERI was mainly due to its design-engineering and production capabilities as well as market knowledge and diverse industry experience. It had decades-long experience in locks, exterior handles and related fittings for off-Highway vehicles and also had an impressive product portfolio. Before the agreement was signed HAPPICH visited ILERI’s production facility and was impressed with the high-tech processes used in this modern plant.
Growth planned through new partnerships and alliances:
Several firms have already stated their interest in collaborating with ILERI in markets other than the commercial vehicles sector, in which it is already collaborating with Happich. A similar alliance is on the agenda for steering, and foot and hand control systems, Mr Isik says. He adds that through new partnerships and alliances in the medium and long term ILERI will be mentioned more frequently in the global markets.
Today ILERI has direct exports to all over the globe, including North and South America, Europe, India, Thailand and China. ILERI’s biggest exports are in agricultural and construction machines, and commercial vehicles. It sends these products to around 30 countries. Exports amount to 45 per cent of ILERI’s production and Mr Isik says they are aiming to reach 50 per cent in the coming years. Mr Isik says that financial crisis in 2008 did cause a reduction in demand but ILERI took active steps to minimize the effects. It significantly increased its marketing activities and took its products to 10 world fairs in one year. In the meantime it continued to make further investments in its production facilities as well as in research and development for exciting new products. He underlines two main reasons behind ILERI’s success in dealing with the current economic difficulties. One is the fact that Ileri had one of the most varied product portfolio among its competitors. Secondly, thanks to the fact that it is operating in different industries its risks are spread and it is able to make appropriate investments when opportunities come up or withdraw into different sectors if problems arise. For example, the construction machinery sector was hit quickly by the global financial crisis, but the reduction didn’t harm ILERI’s revenue significantly because the agricultural machinery sector saw the effects of the crisis at a later stage. So ILERI was able to concentrate on a specific market when another one slowed down.
Mr Isik says that ILERI is planning to develop a mechanic-electronic integrated line for future productions. They have been focusing their research on electronic systems. For example their steering systems used to be entirely mechanic but now are integrated with electronic features like displays and switches offering a complete plug-and-play solutions to their customers. They have developed new complete steering systems being shown in the industrial fairs they attend. “Future production will follow this electronic integrated line including control and locking systems as well.”, Mr Isik concludes.