The Turkish automotive industry, which exports 79 percent of its production, started December by breaking historic records for exports and production. Total automobile production by the automotive industry in the January-November period of 2017 increased by 16 percent to 1.5 million compared to the same period of the previous year, while automobile production reached 1 million units with a serious increase of 24 percent. The OSD announced the production, export and market data for the January-November period this year.
According to these figures, entering December with record figures, the Turkish automotive industry exceeded the 1 million mark in the first 11 months in automobile production for the first time in its history, while total automotive production and exports surpassed the figures of 2016 before the end of the year and broke the all-time record.
The OSD data reveal that total production increased by 16 percent and automobile production by 24 percent in January-November 2017 compared to the same period of the previous year. In this period, total production was 1.5 million, while automobile production hit 1 million units. In the same period, production in the commercial vehicle group increased by 2 percent, light commercial vehicle group by 1 percent and heavy commercial vehicle group by 18 percent.
Because of the base effect, production declined by 31 percent in the heavy commercial vehicle group compared to January-November 2015 as a result of a 45 percent shrinkage experienced in the market over the last two years.
According to the OSD January-November 2017 data, the total automotive market contracted by 3 percent to 840,000 units, while the automobile market shrank by 4 percent to 623,000 units. In the same period, total automotive exports increased by 21 percent in dollar terms and by 20 percent in euro terms. Compared to the same period of the previous year, total automotive exports increased by 19 percent in the January-November period of 2017, while automobile exports increased by 28 percent.
During the January-November period of 2017, when the all-time sector record was set, total exports stood at 1.2 million units and automobile exports at 844,000 units. In the same period, total automotive exports amounted to $26.5 billion, while automobile exports increased by 49 percent to $10.8 billion. In euro terms, on the other hand, automobile exports rose by 48 percent to 9.6 billion euros.
Sector officials predict a slight decline in the total market, which is expected to be completed at 950,000-975,000 levels this year, due to exchange rates in 2018. Toyota Turkey Marketing and Sales Inc. CEO Ali Haydar Bozkurt told Turkish daily Habertürk that the total market, which follows the same course as the previous year, is expected to close the year at around 950,000, taking into account data in the first 11 months of 2017.
Bozkurt said the market might shrink by 15 percent in 2018. "The first six months of 2018 will be interesting. The second half of the year is difficult to predict. Global conjuncture, parity and interest rates will be decisive. If exchange rates keep their current levels, sales will fall by 15 percent next year," he said.
Hyundai Assan General Manager Önder Göker, on the other hand, said the upward volatility in the exchange rate will be felt in 2018. "The fleet and rental sector may cover losses in individual sales to some extent," Göker added, noting that they predict a loss of 5 to 10 percent compared to 2017, while sales are expected to fall to around 900,000 units.