Temsa sale to founder sets bus maker up for North American growth

The sale of Turkish bus maker Temsa to a partnership that includes its original owner has been finalized, setting the company up for post-pandemic growth in North America. The Temsa sale is the latest in a number of developments for this bus maker.

Sabanci Holding founded Temsa in 1968 and sold it in May 2019 to a Swiss investment company for $64 million. Sabanci and Skoda Transportation, a subsidiary of the Dutch firm PPF Group, now each own 50% of the bus maker. They reportedly paid $30.8 million for Temsa.

Deniz Cetin, country manager for Temsa North America, said the partnership formed by the new owners would stabilize and strengthen the company in the United States, which he called “one of our most dedicated markets.”

Strong backing

“We are going to be stronger because we have a strong company behind us,” Cetin said. 

Deniz Cetin

Sabanci Holding is the parent company of the Sabanci Group, whose subsidiary companies are involved in banking, insurance, energy, industrials, building materials and retail.

Skoda Transportation is a Czech engineering firm that is among the world’s largest manufacturers of trams and propulsion units for trolley buses and a regional producer of railway vehicles. The company also has extensive experience with battery electric systems for vehicles.

Tolga Kaan Doğancıoğlu, who recently worked for Kordsa, a member of Sabanci Group, is the new CEO of Temsa. He previously worked in the production and design segments of the automotive sector for the company and will focus on reinforcing Temsa’s position in its existing markets around the world and leading the company in potential growth areas, such as smart transportation and electric and autonomous vehicles.

Focus on electric buses

Cetin said electric buses would be one of Temsa’s main focuses in North America. The company has been working on the TS 45E electric coach in recent years and has exhibited it at trade shows. It plans to introduce the TS 45E to operators next year in the San Francisco Bay Area. 

“Skoda’s experience with electric battery system technology is going to add great value to our company,” he said.

Temsa’s sale, approved this month by regulators, is the latest twist in what has been a turbulent period for the bus manufacturer. Sabanci sold Temsa in May 2019 to little-known Swiss investment firm True Value Capital Partners. Then, in December, the new owner ran into problems when a financial dispute with its banks resulted in a temporary pause in production at its bus factory in Adana, Turkey. 

Temsa has been selling motorcoaches in the United States for 10 years. In 2018, the company launched Temsa North America Inc. to handle its own sales, service and parts operations in the U.S. and Canada.

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