Uzer Makina currently gets 40 percent of its sales from Turkey, 30 percent from Europe, 10 percent from India, 5 percent each from North and South America, and the rest in other regions.
For the past 20 years, Uzer Makina was represented in the Americas by Taray International Corp., owned by CEO Tarik Ayasun. However, because of growth in Turkey and worldwide, Ozkan said it has decided to merge the "efforts and knowledge of both companies" and form the Uzer Americas Trading Co. entity.
"Our aim is to grow our business (across the) whole American continent," he said. "We are aware of the new greenfield projects that might be in the U.S., so we want to be in the center of the market and be more active. As Uzer Makina, we want to use the advantages of being in Europe geographically and politically, and make more business connections in the Americas."
The Uzer executive expects the majority of its growth in the Americas to come from new projects, but will pursue gaining business at existing tire facilities as well.
In addition, the company hired Ozcan Demirbas as general manger of Uzer Americas. He has more than 30 years of experience in the industry. His background includes stints at Pirelli in Italy, Alliance Tire Group in Israel and India, and most recently Yokohama in the U.S.
He is an accomplished manufacturing leader with an engineering project management background, according to Ozkan. "He is a performance-oriented and internationally seasoned leader with a successful history of over 30 years implementing lean and operational excellence in Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and the U.S. He is a transformational leader spearheading continuous process improvements across business units."