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Reporter: Gaskets usually are product that often provide sealing, last a while and inflammable. Gaskets were previously procured from other countries and paid for by foreign currencies. Later, they were produced from cork material, in small workshops, using simple methods. In conjunction with the overall progress in the automotive industry in the domestic market, the suppliers’ manufacturing facilities also started getting established. Currently, using the latest technology available, gaskets for all models and types of vehicles, most importantly the full gasket sets are being produced at facilities operating in Turkey. Also, in addition to fulfilling the demand from the domestic market, the gaskets with proven quality, are being shipped all over the world, and domestic producers are being sought after by consumers in other countries. Recently, we had the change to interview the founder of a gasket manufacturing company, in Izmir, Mustafa Kip.                      

Reporter: Dear Kip, what is a gasket?

Kip: When someone says gasket, what comes to mind is a product that provides sealing between two flange surfaces.          

Reporter: When and how did the automotive gasket manufacturing begin in Turkey?

Kip: One of the reasons for why the automotive gasket manufacturing begun in Turkey, is the speed of progress with the rapidly growing engine industry after 1964 and it’s urgent need for gaskets which were only imported at the time, creating the opportunity for the Turkish industry leaders to setup domestic facilities. In Turkey, prior to 1974, the market for engines were around 600 to 700 thousand. And the gasket requirements of this market were resulting in about 250 to 300 million Turkish Liras to be transferred abroad. In order to, at the least partially, fulfill the requirement with domestically produced products, as I stated above, we have setup our facility in 1974 and equipped our facility with the latest technology along with the most capable team of people, achieving a production capacity of 1 Million gasket sets a year.    

Reporter: Dear Kip, what are some of the activities that take place in your operation and where are some opportunities for your products to be sold abroad?

Kip: At our facilities, we are able to produce products that are suitable for a range of more than 100 different models of engines. Our main objective, is to produce all parts required by the engine assembly facilities that are active in Turkey. This means, the 1.5 Million pieces of engines currently making up the market domestically, we are able to cover 80% of it. Additionally, we started exporting our products in 1982. While our export market is still new, we are already receiving many inquiries from several countries. As a result, we were encouraged to invest into manufacturing the raw material for our products as well. Currently, we are capable of producing up to 600 tons a year of gasket material.          

Reporter: Could you give us some examples of countries you export to?

Kip: The UK, Pakistan. We expanded our reach in the 1983 to more countries in the middle east, and have started receiving inquiries from the UK again, as well as Singapore. We are currently working on those inquiries. We intend to convert these inquiries into large volumes of business soon.                 

Reporter: Dear Kip, what’s the importance of a gasket in a vehicle?

Kip: A gasket, is a part that provides one of the most critical functionality in a engine. Any leakage in the engine, may result in significant damages. Therefore, we are aware of the great responsibility we carry through the manufacturing of products and the work we do, while we pay the utmost attention to doing the right job, protecting our country’s economy from any damages as well.                

Reporter: Could you tell us a little bit about the foreign currency aspect of this industry?

Kip: I’d like to give an example, in order to present the foreign currency component of this industry; today, a gasket that costs about 10 dollars to import, we can produce for 2 to 3 dollars and contribute to our country’s economy. If we want to take it up to a grander scale, the amount of funds transferred abroad, is no less than 55 to 60 Million dollars. In this same period, also, our gasket operation depends on various sub industries. For instance, rubber industry. For instance, packaging industry. If we include all of those together, the total amount of savings will add up to at the least 15-20 Million dollars. Furthermore, directly created as a result of our own activities and as a result of this collective effort within industries, at a minimum 10 Thousand people find opportunities for gainful employment, impacting the overall employment rates.

Reporter: Dear Kip, during our conversation, you mentioned that from the exportation of the products you produce to other countries, you attract other currencies into the Turkish economy. Therefore, I’d like to ask, how do you go about engaging in these relationships which lead to such activities?

Kip: We establish relationships with the countries that we end up doing business with, as a result of my personal visits to those areas, as well as visits done by members of our team, added to the numerous inquiries we receive as a consequence of the products we export to those markets, communication sent via letters, via telex, by requests we receive for our catalogs. In summary, letters received from all over the world, our attempts to contact potential leads, new ideas relating to our business, all expand our overall market reach. As industry leaders, we have the responsibility to present our products to all related parties.      

Reporter: Dear Kip, what are some duties you believe industry leaders such as yourself have, in order to grow the export volume?

Kip: Industry leaders have many responsibilities. For instance, we must make sure the quality of our products are at the highest level. The presentation of those products must also be up to par. We must be professional, be kind, show the utmost care and the closest attention to all with companies we work with from around the world. Moreover, the assistance provided by all government offices located in various countries is most encouraging and will offer ways to fully explore the potential offered by each of those markets.        

Reporter: Dear Mustafa Kip, we’d like to thank you for attending our program and sharing your insights.

Kip: Thank you. It’s my pleasure.

 

 

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