Automotive strikes push imports to record high

DAILY SABAH
ISTANBUL
Published 15.06.2015 20:29

The autoworkers' strikes, which began in Bursa and spread to other automotive factories in Kocaeli and İnönü, have upset the balance in the automotive market. Due to the labor unrest that continued for 12 days, car factories halted production, failing to satisfy domestic market orders. The concomitant business stagnation had a negative impact on the auto sales of the brands that are engaged in domestic production while leading to a boom in the sale of imported brands. In May, the market share of imported cars reached a record high 80 percent, marking an upsurge of eight points. Thus, eight out of every 10 cars sold in May were imported cars. Previously, the share of imported automobiles reached a record high 78 percent in August 2014. Among other brands, Oyak Renault, the Turkish arm of the French automaker and Turkey's third-largest exporter, saw the greatest fall in its sales, dropping 33.9 percent. The total number of cars sold in April was 10,662, however, this figure plummeted to 7,048 while Renault's domestic car sales experienced the greatest decline at 66 percent. A total of 7,705 domestic cars were sold in April, but this figure dropped to 2,559 in May. The low share of imports in the commercial vehicle market prevented light commercial vehicle producers Tofaş and Ford from experiencing considerable declines in their sales. Meanwhile, according to data released by the Turkish Exporters' Assembly (TİM), Turkey's exports decreased 19 percent to $10.8 billion in May 2015 compared to May 2014. The decrease in the amount of exports has largely been affected by the autoworkers' strike that contributed to a four-point decrease to total exports.

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