Bombardier: Demand for metro systems unrelated to election result

Canadian transportation vehicles producer Bombardier says their interest in Turkey will continue unabated regardless of the results of the elections after June 7.
Dieter John, the president of the Bombardier Transportation GmbH CentralEastern Europe and CIS, has said there is a strong demand for mass transportation in urban areas, which will remain the same regardless of which party wins a majority.
Speaking to Todayand’s Zaman on the sidelines of the International Transportation Forum 2015 in Leipzig on Thursday, John said the demand for mass transportation is rising dramatically in the metropolitan cities of Turkey in parallel with large-scale urbanization. Besides, commuting via mass transportation offers the most efficient and effective solution to traffic problems, he said. For instance, a metro line can transport in a three- to five-meter corridor 50,000 people in an hour in a city, he said, adding that there is no more efficient means in terms of high organization than a metro system.
The manager said the companyand’s interest in the procurement tender for the 80 high-speed trains by the Turkish State Railways (TCDD) remains strong and that they are looking forward to it. The tender date has been shifted several times so far by the TCDD, but John believes it will be held within this year, once the elections are over. A high-speed train network is a necessity and a sign of prestige for a country. Hence the TCDD, the 26th largest railway operator in the world, will surely want it, no matter which party is in charge of the government, said John. Add to this, high-speed trains are a lot more effective and cost-efficient compared to flights, and so the company should retain its interest in them for the sake of productivity.
The Turkish Transportation Ministry has set a 53 percent minimum rate of localization in production of these trains, along with a requirement to establish a partnership with a domestic company. Bombardier has set up a partnership with a Turkish company but is keeping the identity of this firm secret for the time being. If Bombardier wins the tender, it will establish a production plant in Turkey. Asked if the company would open such a factory even if it failed to outbid its rivals in the anticipated procurement tender, he responded negatively.
John is not worried about the prospect that his companyand’s investments in Turkey would be aersely affected from the depreciation of the lira against the dollar, since they always hedge themselves against such risks. The strong localization requirements are providing a natural hedge already, he said. Besides, and”We take the development risk, production risk, localization risk, etc. and we donand’t take any more additional speculation risks. We leave it to the banks,and” he said.
The company has been operating in Turkey since 1986. Today, a large number of subway networks as well as rail control systems and machines carry the Bombardier brand on them in Turkeyand’s largest cities. The FLOCity 250 railway control system and Light Rail Transit system in izmir, for instance, are products of this company. Ankaraand’s metro transportation systems were also installed by Bombardier. The companyand’s Flexity Swift low-floor light rail vehicles roll along in the streets of Istanbul and Ankara. And its Flexity Outlook trams commute across the northwestern city of Eskiiehir.

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman