Otosan, a joint venture between Turkish conglomerate Koc Holding and American manufacturer Ford, manufactures vehicles not only for the US carmaker, but also for Renault, Toyota and Hyundai, in a market that is among the top ten auto producers in Europe.
Otosan's problems began in November last year, when it reported major sales decline, with vehicle production down to 59,082 units in the respective month, while passenger cars manufacturing decreased by 54 percent.
As a result, Otosan announced last December a massive cost-cutting program to save money and align production with the market demand. Still, the company's problems continued well into March, as the Turkish car production fell a massive 61.6 percent (to 69,445) units in January-
February, compared to the same period in 2008, according to a report submitted by the Turkish Automotive Industry Association (OSD).
Today's announcement adds to the similar closures operated by the manufacturer this year. On February 26th, Otosan shut down production for almost a month, until March the 16th. In all, Otosan suspended production seven times: between October 25 – November 2, 13-27 November, December 30 – January 12, 17-26 January, January 31 – February 16, February 26 -March 16 and March 30 – April 1st.