Asaş produces high speed wagons and sets its eyes on Middle East and Europe

Asaş Holding Vice President Mehmet Fatih Yalçınkaya, who is active in many sectors from smart meter to high speed train wagon, from automotive to tourism, said: “Soon our wind power plant investments will start. We are also ambitious in the drinking water business. Turkey, as well as the Middle East, the Balkans and will produce high-speed railway wagons to Europe, "he said

Mehmet Fatih Yalçınkaya, 42, Vice Chairman of ASAŞ Holding. Asaş Holding's best known field of activity is automobile filters. Turkey's investments in the different areas in recent years, the company is the largest manufacturer in this field is remarkable. Asaş undertook the production of 675 million dollar high speed train with Hyundai and entered the water sector with the Gürpınar brand. The holding, which is also a subsidiary of Güllük Port in Bodrum, has investments in the security company, sports facilities and energy sector.

6 Yalçınkaya, who was born in Diyarbakır as the last child of a family with children, graduated from Karadeniz Technical University Mechanical Engineering. After being an engineer at Asaş's plant in İskenderun, Yalçınkaya told about Asaş's breakthroughs.

  • Asas one of the companies best known automobile manufacturers in Turkey. You produce filters for different brands. How is your company established?

Our past is in the automotive industry. Our company was established in 4 with 1969 partner in Iskenderun. One of the first in the field. In 1988, most of the shares are owned by Saffet Çerçi. His partner is Ahmet Göçmen. Ahmet Bey 3 passed away years ago. Saffet Bey is the president. 1980'li years began to work with spare parts. After 1996, different sectors are entered. ASAS Filter 1998 years after Turkey and is becoming a recognized brand in the world.

15 million filters per year

  • How many countries do you export? How much is your size in Turkey?

We have exports to 55 countries. We are the largest in our field in Turkey. We produce about 15 million filters per year. In terms of turnover, we are talking about a value of 60 million dollars. We continue to grow. Two places in İskenderun and one in Arifiye.

  • How many people do you employ?

We have employees close to 1.500. We have 800 staff in the filter department. We aimed to be a strong player. Lots of competitors in the world. We have German competitors. Even they did patented production in Turkey, but does not currently have a break.

  • The Germans wanted to buy Asaş Filter together, didn't they?

Yes, we sat at the table with big German companies like Mahle, but we couldn't agree on the price and we stopped selling.

  • And you entered new sectors… Water sector, sports facilities…

As the late Sabancı said, eggs should be put in different baskets. That's what we did. We are always on the principle of directing money to investment and employment. Periods cars plummeted in Turkey. The crises affected the sector very much. 4 years ago, our filter exports fell to zero. Those were hard times. In those days, the Sporiums supported us. The sports complexes of our group are also very strong.

Sports no longer needed

  • When did you make those investments?

Since 1992 Bostancı Sporium is ours. A new place was established in Akatlar in 2007. We will open a new Sporium in Ataşehir. Sporium 10 have close to a thousand members. We aim to register 8 thousand members to our facility in Ataşehir. Everybody's doing sports now. It used to be a sports hobby now.

  • Sports facilities have increased rapidly in the last period. How did you decide to enter this field? A very different area.

We as a team are interested in sports. Our Chairman Saffet Çerçi made the first investment. Turkey has also increased awareness of this issue. We've had a lot of experience. We have other investments not only in sports. We are partners of Gulluk Port.

We are ambitious in the water sector

  • You entered the water sector. What is your target in this sector?

We bought the Gürpınar brand. We have a little partner there. We are also ambitious in the water industry. We renewed all machines and equipments. Our source is very strong. We got the name rights. Gürpınar will come to an important point. Our goal is to capture the rise of Erikli. We are currently supplying water to some brands.

  • Which brands?

For example, Kipa… We have reached 60 million pounds in the water sector. We haven't used much of our resource yet. We go into every production from pet bottles to carboy. We will also have disposable products.

  • Nowadays, there is a lot of talk about disposable bottles. Dispose of bottles.

We are entering irreversible carboy production. Use the horse bottle that we call production.

  • What is the difference from the pet bottle? It is discussed whether both pet bottles and carboy are healthy…

They're all made of the same material. We have done a lot of research before entering this sector. Everyone is producing from the same materials. You make 19 liters, you know that the demijohn can be used for a long time, we will also make use of them. As for health, don't be afraid if you're actually doing something right. If it's not abused, it's okay. No problem if used correctly, inspections performed and washed well.

  • Dispose of bottles and glass from healthier demijohn.

Glass and navigation horses are healthier than yes. The cost of glass is very high. a very large population of tap water consumers in Turkey. Water sector is growing 10 percent each year in Turkey. It'il grow bigger. 326 water company. We entered into serious structuring in the Marmara Region.

RES will be our investment

  • Did you step into the energy sector? Will we hear more of your name in this area in the future?

Energy is a very important issue. Our intention is to produce energy and to use the energy we produce in our own factories. We visited some HEPPs. We currently do not have HEPP investment. But we're looking. We will invest in wind power plants (RES) in Çatalca. We will invest on a land of 200 acres in Çatalca. We also received a license to purchase electricity. We will also have foreign investments in energy purchase. In 2012, 100 targeted a size of millions of dollars.

Released a folk song album

  • You have released an album. Music is like going beyond your hobby in your life…

I love music. I took singing lessons. Ever since I was a kid, I've been called a 'beautiful voice' People around me made me gas and I made an album. Not bad. But I didn't mean to sell, to be recognized. I said hobby, I sold cd. I don't have any expectations but I love it as a hobby.

We produce wagons in Adapazarı with Hyundai

  • When you say to put the eggs in different baskets, you really turned to very different areas. And you have a security company? What exactly services do you provide in this area?

We took the biggest job in this field in Turkmenistan. We provide services in Turkey. The same company produces smart meters. The most important feature of these counters is this: As you know, this field is being customized. New distribution companies. We sat at the table with different companies. Our company will take over issues such as prevention of leakage. Meter production is done with the technology we received from Israel and Russia.

  • The most remarkable of your investments is high speed train projects. How did you start producing wagons for high-speed trains?

We're partners with South Koreans. We have a factory in Adapazarı. We produce wagons for high-speed trains. The tender was opened, we entered into a consortium. We established the factory together with Hyundai. Our factory opened in 2006. TCDD is our partner. The wagons are brought here from South Korea, where parts are assembled and laid.

I'm interested in Far Eastern sports

  • Do you do Far Eastern sports? Fighting, attack sports?

I'm doing Krav Maga and Wing Chuu.

  • What are these?

Krav Maga is a fighting technique that is often taught to MOSSAD agents. This has of course got him one teacher in Turkey. Wing Chuu is a sport that uses the attacker's power. I'm moving forward in these sports. If I'm in Istanbul, I make 4-5 hours a week.

  • How did you get into Asaş?

When I graduated from university, I joined the group as a mechanical engineer. I'm related to Saffet Çerçi, his nephew. Saffet Bey was involved in both trade and politics. After university, I worked as a mechanical engineer in the filter factory. After 5 years of engineering there, I came to Istanbul in 1998 and took over the business.

We built 96 wagons for Istanbul Metro

  • How many wagons have you ever built?

We built 96 wagons on the metro line in Istanbul. We also won a new tender. We received the 440 set tender.

  • How many wagons do 440 set mean?

There are 8 wagons in each set. High-speed train projects are being done quickly. Wagon production niche market. We have a lot of business in this field until 2016. Meanwhile, we want to produce wagons not only for TCDD but also for the Middle East, Balkans and Europe. We are currently bringing materials from abroad to a large extent, but we are slowly entering production. We established a joint company with the Italians. We produce doors. We started to make the doors in the subway wagons. We aim to produce products other than doors. We also do maintenance work at Blue Ray company. I can say that we moved from filter to rail.

Newspaper Vatan - Elif Ergu

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