|This biographical article relies on references to primary sources. (July 2014)|
|Key people||Kudret Onen (Chairman)|
|Revenue||1.004 billion (2012) |
Otokar Otomotiv ve Savunma Sanayi A.Ş., also known simply as Otokar, is a Turkish multinational buses and military vehicles manufacturer headquartered in Sakarya, Turkey and a subsidiary of Koç Holding.
Otokar began business in 1963 as Turkey's first intercity bus manufacturing company under the license of Magirus Deutz of Istanbul. Otokar was noted for manufacturing the most modern buses and modern intercity vehicles for that period. During the 1970s, Otokar launched air-cooled minibuses with Deutz AG engines. During this period, Turkey's largest conglomerate Koç Holding purchased the majority of Otokar shares. Within its mass transportation strategies, in early 1980s, Otokar added the inner-city bus to its product line.
In the early 1980s Otokar began inner-city bus production and in mid-1980s Otokar manufactured the first Turkish armored vehicle as an armored car. In 1987, the Turkish Armed Forces had Otokar manufacture military Land Rover Defenders in Turkey in agreement with Land Rover.
In early 1990s, Otokar developed the Otokar Armored Personnel Carrier, Otokar Akrep, and Otokar Cobra; Turkey's first 4x4 light-armored tactical wheeled vehicles by combining its armor technology with its experience in military vehicles. In 1997, Otokar moved to its new plant in Sakarya, Arifiye.
In 2002 Otokar acquired a trailer and semi-trailer production company from Koç Group Company of Istanbul Fruehauf A.S. Later in 2002, with its experience in public transportation Otokar developed the small bus called the Navigo which is marketed in Turkey with Sultan brand. In 2003, Otokar initiated a cooperation with Singapore Technologies Kinetics (STK) for the new 8x8 tactical armored vehicle Otokar Yavuz. In 2005 Otokar widened its line of armored vehicles. In 2007, Turkey's Undersecretariat for Defence Industries launched negotiations with Otokar on the eventual contractual agreement to develop and produce Turkey's first indigenous tank.
In 2011 Otokar achieved 890,000,000 TL turnover, 72% higher than 2010. Mostly due to civil products, the sales were extended to European countries leading to the establishment of the Otokar Europe office. The company introduced Arma 8x8 ACV, Arma 6x6 EOD, Mizrak RCT and exhibited Altay MBT's early prototype in 2011.
Otokar produces the famous M-series minibuses, which have had the largest percentage by far among all dolmus's in Istanbul and Ankara since its introduction in 70s. These 14-seat minibuses are particularly known for their cubic shape, durability, long life expectancy and low operation costs. M-2000, M-3000, and M-2010 are the most current vehicles from this series, which actually started long time ago under a different coding system. Initially the vehicles were named after their engines as Magirus, but as the company built confidence among its customers, they started using their own brand. The last member of the series, M-2010 has an Iveco engine and this marks the first time in this series where they abandoned Deutz engines.
Otokar manufactures several buses for civilian mass transit use. Its line of Navigo buses range from the Navigo 125L with 25 seats and 6.3 m in length to the Navigo 160SE with 31 seats at 7.1 m in length. The smaller buses use a Deutz engine and the larger models use a Cummins 160 HP Euro IV diesel engine. The Navigo is marketed as the "Sultan" in Turkey. The larger more luxurious models have a 45 litre refrigerator, hostess seat, announcement system, optional additional heater and optional double layer glass, DVD, VCD, MP3 player and LCD TV systems.
Since April 2007, Otokar has also started to manufacture a new 9 meter, rear engined bus called Doruk in Turkey and Vectio in other markets.
Otokar is the bus supplier for Inter Trust of Bulgaria.
Otokar, under Land Rover license, produces several Land Rover variants and models. These include the Land Rover Defender 90, Defender 110, and Defender 130 for use as utility, ambulances, and rescue vehicles.
Otokar produces wheeled military vehicles for the Turkish Armed Forces as well as other countries.
- Altay MBT - the Turkish national main battle tank
- Otokar Arma - 6x6 - 8x8 wheeled-armored vehicle.
- Otokar Armored Internal Security Vehicle - for a usage in urban and residential areas with variants equipped as command vehicles, personnel carriers, explosive ordnance disposal vehicles, reconnaissance/surveillance vehicles, and water cannon vehicles.
- Otokar Armoured Patrol Vehicle - a versatile 4x4 armored vehicle adaptable to a wide range of military and security roles.
- Otokar Akrep - a 4x4 special attack/defense vehicle.
- Otokar Cobra - a 4x4 infantry mobility vehicle
- Otokar Discreetly Armored Station Wagon - which looks like a standard vehicle, actually has an armored body structure that meets the military standards as well as superior road and cross country capabilities.
- Otokar Engerek a Fast attack vehicle based on Land Rover 110.
- Otokar Kale is a MRAP which provides enhanced mine and ballistic protection along with independent suspension system ensuring superior mobility in a wide range of demanding terrains under diverse climatic conditions.
- Otokar Kaya a MRAP which specially designed to provide mine and ballistic protection for the troops on all terrain conditions.
- Otokar Tulpar - Tracked armoured infantry fighting vehicle designed to provide ballistic and mine protection to support new generation main battle tanks in battlefield and to provide fire support for infantry.
- Otokar Ural - Armoured personnel carrier with a versatile modular platform and an innovative feature set.
- Otokar / Land Rover - 40 variants of the Defender 90, 110, and 130.
- Otokar Yavuz - 8x8 armored personnel carrier, design is based on the AV-81 Terrex.
- "Türkiye'nin en büyük 500 şirketi" [500 biggest private companies of Turkey]. Capital (in Turkish) 21 (8): 88. 2013.
- (Turkish) Otokar'dan rekor büyüme!, Otokar, Retrieved 19 February 2012
- Army Technology - Cobra - Wheeled Light Armoured Vehicle
- Cobra - Light Armoured Vehicles - Jane's Land Forces
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