The family Bayraktar have been in a variety of automotive businesses for almost a century—everything from car dealerships to parts makers. So, Ahmet Bayraktar decided to take part in his family's business and took responsibilities at Farba right after completing his university study of Industrial Engineering Technology in Akron, Ohio, USA in 1979. In those years Farba were just starting production of automotive headlamps under Cibié licence in Turkey. The business grew in time, and Farba acquired the Odelo group in 2011—the lighting division of former Schefenacker—and extended their operations to China, Germany, and Slovenia. Ahmet Bayraktar is currently the President and Chairman of both Farba and the Odelo group of companies. Herewith our exclusive interview:
DVN: How and When did you start Farba? Could you describe the history of the company?
Ahmet Bayraktar: We established Farba in 1979 with Cibié licence primarily to produce Renault 12 headlamps. We later started to produce other local headlamps like Fiat cars, Ford minibus and trucks.
After Cibié's acquisition by Valeo group, our licence agreement was cancelled unilaterally; we continued our own headlamp production without external technical support. In 1986 we also started to manufacture rear lamps, and in 1992 a new business opportunity revealed itself with Toyota starting production in Turkey. We signed a licence agreement with Koito at that time to produce and supply front and rear lights for local Toyota car productions in Turkey. Today we are still supplying Toyota production facilities not only in Turkey but also to South Africa under Koito licence. With our acquisition of Odelo Group in 2011, Farba started to manufacture and supply various automakers globally.
DVN : During that timeframe, what was your best achievement?
A.B. : Sure, it was in the middle of the 1990s, when I strengthened the R&D department from the old engineering group, giving a new vision to our old engineers. It resulted in the success with Daimler and as a result of that, we had success with other automakers.