Mr Zeynel Arslan who get Arslan Damper brand from bottom and put into the one of the biggest superstructure manufacturers in Turkey, made important comments to Mr. Ahmet Usman, Izmir region news director of Dunya Newspaper.
He received tipper material as compensation, and had a voice in the sector after 30 years. He is leader in aegean Region and one of the leading manufacturers in the country.
Interviewed by Mr. Ahmet USMAN/Dünya Newspaper.
Mr. Zeynel Arslan, the eldest one of five sisters and brothers, began his career as a 13 year-old apprentice hairdresser in Zonguldak. Then guidance of a family friend he came to İstanbul and entered to Hidromak, Turkey's oldest tipper body builer company, as an apprentice . Mr. Arslan said, “There, I learned everything about profession. I work there for many years. After completing my military service, I continue to work for Hidromak. One of the customer of Hidromak offered me to manufacture tipper body together in Çan/Çanakkale.
Thisbusiness proposition appeared meso attractive and started to manufacture tipper in Çan.”
Mr. Arslan continued, “ At the beginning I do not have any capital. When I left Hidromak, I got enough material for production of 1-2 tippers instead of money, as compension. The workshop we have rented was 50 m2 and it was between two olive trees. We rented two olive tree in the plot, was a workshop of 50 sqm. All the water was going in when it rains. Three partners were doing every job. We were both bosses and employees. We were manufacturing the tippers in front of the workshop, cause there was not enough space in the workshop. After the 12 September military coup, all business has stopped. We become a position that could not get any order and could not sell the manufactured tippers. During this period my partners left and I was alone.”
“We became partners with a bank manager, that we met in Çan, and decided to move our business to Soma, where the tipper market is vibrant. We rent a 150 m2 workshop in Soma Industrial Site. This place made me feel so good. At least we could work without getting wet and cold. As we thought it was a place where we grow our business quickly. This workshop was not engough for our increasing business, therefore we bought a 1.200 m2 land in Kınık Organized Industrial Zone. We established a strong base and started production but there was not any facility in that zone. I always had dreams of setting up a much larger facility also. I realized my dream with our current facility established in Aliağa Organized Industrial Zone (ALOSBI).”
“I bought the land in 2006 and started to manufacture in 2008. I bought a small house in Istanbul while I was working there. While I was working in Soma, I owed to bank, I had an embarresment. In order to overcome this problem I had to sell my house that I esteemed very much. I paid all my doubts to the bank and until that I never got any credit from bank. Trade and industry, hard work… The general condition of Turkey’s eceonomy was unstable at that period. We established our current factory with our equity capital. We are forced, but it flowed, we have established the facility without facing any problem. Ford and BMC which we are approved as a suoerstructure manufacturer send us a lot of work.”
“ In our first facility in Çan, we were manufacturing just5-6 tippers per month. We have started to manufacture trailers in Kınık as Z.ARSLAN brand. We had a small shanty in Çan,
this facility is established in 13.500 m2 closed, 25.000 m2 toltal area. We have started with three workers, now there are 100 worker in this facility. All of these secret is hidden in to be honest. We were always honest to our customers, we made safe business and worked hard. In the market some of them can say the products of Arslan Damper are expensive but nobody can say that they have poor quality.”
“It is completely different doing business nowadays comparing when my first times in this business. We came from bottom. But at that time you can do business only with a word. There was trust in doing business and not faced any problems on paying the bonds. In old times evereybody feels uncomfortable not paying their debts, but right nobody cares about it. The new legal arrangements avoid them in place, exactly the opposite as encouraging. Therefore you have to be more strong in this period. Right now, most of business is running by my children. Their job is much more difficult than mine.”
“ We do have two product range, tipper and tipper semi-trailer. Other than that, we do have more products such as applications on small vehicles, trailer, hook-lift, iron profile carrying vehicle, bottled gas carrying vehicle, hydraulic refuse compactor. We do have 20 different model only in tipper and semi-trailer products. Semi-pipe tipper and semi-pipe tipper trailers are our main products. Our main business is excavation tipper. Semi-pipe tipper trailer was not very well known in the market before. When we brangHardox wear sheet from Sweden it was so hard to convince customers. Half of our productions consist of Hardox tipper right now. When the excavation tippers convert to wear steel sheet I choosed the best one. I never changed the Hardox plates. It is the most important factor that increased our production. In the last period, our annual production is 500 tippers, 150 semi-trailer. We rae the biggest copmany with this production figures. We hire 100 workers. Our goal is to provide job opportunities for more people.”
“Approximately 80% of our customers are consist of the companies and people which purchased from us before. If you Show activity in this sector for many years and your quality standards are become wellknown, customers will find you. We have mass production is almost negligible. Customer comes to us and he says what type of vehicle he wants. We inspect their workspace, together with our customers we identify the most suitable superstructure. We produce only some standard and demand trailerswithout any order.”
“We are approved body manufacturer of Ford Trcuks and BMC. Besides the orders from the markets, we serve these two brands directly. We make half of our sales in this way. Because on that kind of sales bolk order is coming. We do not export directly but we export indirectly through the manufacturing or comission houses. We still negotiate with other truck manufacturers. In a short period of time, we want to be the solution partner of leading manufacturer especially in the Aegean Region.”
“ Wefollow the latest technology and we are looking for continuous innovation. In the last period manufactured semi-trailers, we focus in aesthetic aspects more than technical progress. We invested to make our trailers beter. We began to use EBS brake system instead of ABS which is more advanced system. In order to have advantageus unloading the semi-pipe tipper trailer we designed the rear bumper in foldable type. We also began to manufacture the low-bed trailers.”