Turkish auto industry reps to meet German carmakers

METIN CAN
ISTANBUL
Published 03.10.2017 19:37

Political tensions between Turkey and Germany, which have been occupying the agenda of bilateral ties for almost two months, are threatening the long-standing economic ties between the two countries. Amid efforts to prevent any economic repercussions, politicians and business circles have taken a number of initiatives, the most recent of which includes an open letter written by local representatives from the automotive industry and submitted to CEOs of German automotive giants. Sector representatives are scheduled to meet with German car manufacturers soon, as their request for negotiations was highly welcomed.

As a result of the pressure from German politicians, there are problems in the raw material supply and trade in some export items. The automotive industry, which generates some 60 billion euros in bilateral trade, has been the most affected by the political tensions thus far.

In efforts to thwart any negative steps taken by German companies, Turkish representatives from the automobile industry have taken action with the Association of Automobile Parts and Components Manufacturers (TAYSAD), which accounts for 70 percent of exports in the automobile supply industry, launching a campaign that is gaining attention. TAYSAD members have taken to the industry manufacturing field, writing a letter to the CEOs of German automobile giants in which they called for common sense.

TAYSAD Chairman Alper Kanca said that bilateral trade between Turkey and Germany has been slightly affected by the political rift, adding that some sectors have been exposed to losses emanating therefrom. "We have initiated a series of projects to institute a common sense attitude on both sides. To that end, we have submitted letters to the senior managers of German automobile firms," he said, adding that the letter emphasized the willingness of Turkish sector representatives to visit German carmakers. "Our requests have been very much welcomed by the German partners. We will soon meet with them and discuss the matter in elaboration."

The TAYSAD chairman also said that the people from the Turkish automobile sector explained the strength and potential as well as the global success of Turkish firms, emphasizing that both countries are integrated with one another and the matter has no economic base.

While the total value of exports in the Turkish automobile sector hovers around 12 billion euros, Germany's car sales to Turkey stand at between 40 billion euros and 50 billion euros. "Germany will experience losses as a result of this tension, considering the trade balance between the two countries," Kanca said, asserting that Germany will not be able to find the knowledge and manufacturing technologies afforded by the Turkish industry in other markets. He further claimed that the German press is playing a significant role in escalating the matter, adding that politicians are working to close the gates for dialogue.

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