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30th June 2020
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VitrA invests in growth
VitrA has made a TL250 million (£35m) investment in expanding its manufacturing plant in Bozüyük, Turkey. The additional production line has increased sanitaryware manufacturing capacity by 1.1 million units, giving a total of 5.6 million units a year - putting the brand in a leading position to meet increased demand from Europe.
Growth in demand from European countries, including the UK, was a key factor for this latest investment at the Bozüyük complex. The project was completed in two phases and has added 40,000sq.m of new production space, creating close to 500 new jobs.
Thanks to the increased capacity, which makes extensive use of robotic systems, VitrA aims to increase its exports by 40 million euros in the period ahead. The VitrA brand already accounts for more than half of all ceramic sanitaryware exported from Turkey.
"This is a significant investment for the business that demonstrates our commitment to growth throughout Europe," says Levent Giray (pictured), managing director of VitrA in the UK.
"VitrA is enjoying huge success here in the UK thanks to the development of products that are created specifically for the UK market."
VitrA was the first brand in Turkey to establish a modern ceramics plant, the first to export ceramics, and the first to create an R&D centre for bathroom research.
In his speech at the opening ceremony, group chairman Bülent Eczacıbaşı noted that the domestic share of value-add created by Turkey's ceramics exports was at a record high of 82%. "We've created a whole new production infrastructure at the new facility that blends technology and human labour. VitrA's growth in international markets contributed to our decision to make this investment.
"VitrA is one of the leaders in Europe's ceramics industry, with expertise acquired from over 60 years in the business. We're very proud of our powerful position and the fact that VitrA contributes to more than half of Turkey's ceramic sanitaryware exports."
Ali Aköz, Eczacıbaşı group vice president says: "As always, one of our top priorities in this investment was occupational health and safety, in line with our principle of 'people first'. The robotic systems we're using here increase both our productivity and enhance the working conditions for our employees. Robotics has allowed us to increase the number of women working on our production lines - a priority for us - and one that reflects the czacıbaşı Group's commitment to providing equal opportunities for women."
The Eczacıbaşı Building Products Division has six brands - VitrA, Artema, İntema Yaşam, Villeroy & Boch, Burgbad and Engers - and the largest production and sales network in its industry in Turkey, where it is the leader of the combined bathroom and tile market. The first to export ceramics from Turkey, the Division now generates 76% of its revenue from international sales in over 75 countries and accounts for more than half of all ceramic sanitary ware exports from Turkey.
The Eczacıbaşı Building Products Division's growth strategy is based on a multi-brand, multi-production centre, multi-market strategy. The Division has 13 production plants: five in Turkey and eight in Germany, France and Russia. One in every four of its 6,500 employees works abroad.
The Bozüyük production complex, which employs environment-friendly technologies, is one of the most advanced worldwide in terms of capacity, technology and quality. Also unique is the Division's production range, which covers every bathroom component with the following annual production capacities: 5.6 million units of ceramic sanitaryware, 30,000,000sq.m of ceramic tiles, two million taps, 350 thousand bathtubs and shower trays and 400 thousand modules of bathroom furniture.
The Eczacıbaşı Building Products Division's strategy of achieving growth through high value-added products and services is underpinned by its activities at the VitrA Innovation Centre, which researches and develops new products, processes and technologies that will increase the competitive power of its brands. The centre aims to provide an environment for transforming ideas into a reality without restricting the creativity of architects and designers.
Soon after its establishment, VitrA Innovation Centre was named the best in Turkey's glass and ceramics sector based on the results of the Ministry of Science, Industry and Technology's annual R&D Centre Performance Index survey. The centre has maintained this top position for five years running and, in 2017, was also named the second-best overall in Turkey.
VitrA UK, based in Didcot Oxfordshire, has been supplying the UK bathroom market for over 25 years and is an active member of the Bathroom Manufacturers Association and the British Institute of Kitchen, Bedroom & Bathroom Installation.
18th September 2019