Turkey a lucrative gateway for door-maker

A new partnership is opening doors – quite literally – for a Yorkshire manufacturer keen to establish a foothold in the growing Turkish market.

Union Industries, which makes industrial doors, has a manufacturing tradition going back more than 200 years. It began by making agricultural equipment and diversified into its present line twenty years ago.

The firm, which employs 60 people and has a turnover of £5.5 million, carries out all its manufacturing in the UK. Around 8% of its annual turnover is from export sales.

The company recently participated in a trade mission to Turkey in a bid to build a presence in the country. As a result it teamed up with a Turkish company, which had long experience of importing doors from the United States.

“The problem with selling doors overseas is the after-sales service,” explains Sales Director Alan Hirst. “Industrial doors are machines and therefore they need servicing. And with being based in the UK, it takes longer to get to a customer’s site abroad if there’s a break down, so we decided that if we wanted to export we needed local partners in each country to carry out preventative servicing & reactive maintenance.”

Union Industries recognised Turkey as a good prospect particularly for its top-selling Eiger Door used in industrial cold stores.

“Turkey is a gateway between Europe and Asia and has been holding its own during the recession,” adds Mr Hirst. “Our partners recognised a growing market in Turkey for cold storage. Traditionally in Turkey people eat fresh food so there hasn’t been much of a market for frozen food. But that’s changing and younger Turkish people are increasingly eating frozen food.

“This Turkish company approached us because they recognised a growing need for fast acting freezer doors in their own & also surrounding countries. They came over to Leeds to see the doors in operation, and the result is that we’ve signed a two year agreement with them.”

Union Industries is now gearing up for a fully-blown marketing campaign in the country. It is getting promotional material produced in the Turkish language and is participating in the TurkeyBuild exhibition in Istanbul next spring.

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