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U.S. Small Businesses Add Jobs, Win New Market with Fire Truck Sale to Turkey, Backed by $39 Million Ex-Im Bank Guarantee

Michigan Firm To Boost Workforce from 120 to 220

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE February 1, 2007

Media Contact Name/Phone: 

Marianna Ohe 202-565-3200

Firetruck
WHEN THE FIRE TRUCKS ROLL OUT of stations in Istanbul,Turkey, the firefighters will have small-business employees in Michigan and Louisiana to thank for the state-of-the-art equipment they are driving. And the U.S. companies will have Ex-Im Bank to thank for the loan guarantee that made it possible for them to sell 55 high-technology firefighting vehicles to the Municipality of Istanbul and to add 100 new employees. The fire-truck superstructure will be added to the rear portion of the chassis.

WASHINGTON, D.C.- When fire trucks roll out of stations in Istanbul, Turkey, the firefighters will have small-business employees in Michigan and Louisiana to thank for the state-of-the-art equipment they are driving. And the U.S. companies supplying the equipment will have the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) to thank for the $39 million loan guarantee that made it possible for them to sell 55 high-technology firefighting vehicles to the Municipality of Istanbul.

DMK International, LLC, a five-employee engineering services firm in Macomb, Mich., is the primary exporter on the transaction. Two other small businesses- General Purpose Vehicles LLC, New Haven, Mich., and Ferrara Fire Apparatus Inc., Holden, La.- are suppliers on the sale.

General Purpose Vehicles employs about 120 people, and based on this and future anticipated export contracts it is going to expand its workforce by another 100 people, said DMK International President Douglas Kouri. Ferrara Fire Apparatus has been pretty much a domestic company, but this sale exposes them to an international market. It is the first large American fire-truck program going into Istanbul, and we're excited to develop that market for U.S. fire-truck and equipment manufacturers.

Kouri added that his firm and General Purpose Vehicles are in the Detroit area which is filled with manufacturing suppliers and machine shops: This contract keeps some jobs in the area that are being lost by the automotive industry downturn.

One of Ex-Im Bank's highest priorities is to support U.S. small business exports and, in the process, contribute to U.S. job growth, said Ex-Im Bank Chairman and President James H. Lambright. We're also delighted to supply the Municipality of Istanbul with firefighting vehicles whose enhanced technical features enable them to operate in very tough terrain, both for fire suppression and catastrophic disaster search and rescue.

ABN Amro Bank N.V., Chicago, Ill., is the guaranteed lender on the transaction. We had to provide our customer with a buyer-financing package, and banks are hesitant to provide the funds without risk mitigation, said Kouri. Ex-Im Bank made it possible by providing the guarantee.

DMK International will provide engineering, logistics, maintenance and training, warranty support, and spare parts on the transaction. General Purpose Vehicle will supply chassis and cabs for 45 multi-purpose disaster and firefighting vehicles; financing arrangements are in process of being finalized for the superstructures and firefighting equipment that will be added to the chassis of the 45 vehicles, and Ex-Im Bank support may be sought for this as well. Ferrara Fire Apparatus will supply 10 multifunction robotic firefighting vehicles. The Municipality of Istanbul will use the products to upgrade the city's firefighting capabilities.

Ex-Im Bank, the official export credit agency of the United States, helps finance U.S. exports by providing loan guarantees, export credit insurance and direct loans. In fiscal year 2006, Ex-Im Bank assisted in supporting almost $16.1 billion of U.S. exports to markets around the world. The Bank's support of small-business exports increased by more than $500 million to $3.18 billion from $2.66 billion.

Small businesses interested in learning more about how Ex-Im Bank can help them increase export sales and reduce the risk of non-payment should visit www.exim.gov and go to the web site's small-business portal, or call 1-800-565-3946 and choose option 2 to reach the Ex-Im Bank regional office nearest you.