It took only 30 days for the automotive sector to break its monthly record, with exports seeing an increase of 16 percent in March, reaching $3.14 billion. This is a new high on a monthly basis, according to data released yesterday by the Uludağ Automotive Industry Exporters Association (OİB).
Automotive exports broke the monthly record of $2.8 billion that was set in February, reaching a 21 percent share – more than one-fifth – of all of Turkey's exports, OİB Chairman Orhan Sabuncu said in a statement.
"We have managed to sustain our top rank in Turkey's exports by carrying out exports of $8.23 billion in the first quarter of this year, an increase of 17.5 percent. High increases of 20 percent in the automotive sub-industry and 24 percent in the shipping vehicles were the main determinants in the exports in March," Sabuncu said.
The automotive industry has been on the top of the list of Turkish exports for 12 years and has made setting new records each month a tradition.
The sector has been experiencing an increase in exports since February 2016 and has been maintaining this upward trend for the last 26 months.
"We have shown an increasing success of 16 percent in the sub-industry to our biggest market Germany, while there was also an increase of 66 percent in shipping vehicles to one of our biggest markets France," he added.
On a country-by-country basis, exports to Turkey's largest market, Germany, saw an increase of 10 percent in March and reached $452 million. Exports to the country's second-largest market, Italy, were up 21 percent to $405 million, while exports to the third-largest market, France, increased 26 percent to $330 million. Exports to the European Union, the leader on a country group basis with a share of 79 percent, saw an increase of 16 percent to $2.49 billion.
Exports to African countries in March increased 57 percent and exports to the Commonwealth of Independent States rose 53 percent.
Looking at the product groups, exports of automotive sub-industry increased by 20 percent to $1.04 billion in March. Moreover, passenger car exports were up 9 percent to $1.27 billion, shipping vehicle exports increased 24 percent to $553 million and busses and their derivations rose 16 percent to $176 million. Automotive sub-industry exports to Germany, the leading country in those exports, increased 16 percent, exports to France, the U.S., Poland and Russia increased 37 percent, 42 percent, 35 percent and 60 percent, respectively.
Exports of passenger cars to Italy, the leader in Turkey's personal automotive exports, were up 26 percent, while these exports to Belgium, Israel and Netherlands rose 23 percent, 22 percent, 150 percent, respectively.
On the other side, passenger car exports to Germany decreased 23 percent.Passenger car exports to the U.K. were almost the same as last year, while exports to France, Slovenia and Germany saw an increase of 66 percent, 31 percent and 28 percent, respectively.There was a 49 percent increase in exports of busses to Germany, the frontrunner in those exports, while exports to France and Italy were up 18 percent and 63 percent, respectively.
In Turkey last year, total automotive production increased by 13 percent to 1.7 million units compared to 2016, while automobile production reached 1.1 million with an increase of 18 percent, providing the sector with the highest levels in both total automotive and automobile production.
In 2017, total automotive exports increased 17 percent and automobile exports 24 percent compared to the previous year. Total exports amounted to 1.3 million units, followed by automobile exports with 921,000. As such, 80 percent of total production in the automotive industry was exported.