One of the driving forces of Turkey's economy, the automotive industry has covered 21 percent of the country's overall exports in March and 20 percent of overall exports in the three-month period of this year, according to Automotive Manufacturers Association (OSD) data yesterday.
Automotive exports reached $8.376 billion in the first quarter of the year, corresponding to 20 percent of Turkey's overall exports. Meanwhile, despite the decline in the number in March, automotive exports hit a record high at $3 billion for the first time due to the exchange rate effect.
According to OSD data for the January-March period, although automotive exports declined in number in March, they exceeded $3 billion because of the depreciation of the Turkish lira against the dollar, hitting a historic record at $3.198 billion. The automotive exports fell by 4 percent compared to last March at 130,320 units, while automobile exports declined by 9 percent at 87,525 units.
Total production reached 425,183 in the first three months of 2018, maintaining the same level when compared to the same period last year. Also, automobile production declined by 5 percent at 285,168. In the same period, the total domestic market achieved a rise of 2 percent at 163,358, while the automobile market increased by 5 percent at 122,310.
Total exports in January to March declined by 3 percent at 344,257 units, while automobile exports fell by 8 percent at 234,889 units when compared to the same period last year. Exports rose to $8.376 billion this year from $7.094 billion in the same period last year.
A total of 140,000 commercial vehicles were produced in the January-March period, marking a 13 percent upsurge.
OSD Chairman Haydar Yenigün said the production and exports of commercial vehicles were the most important factors that drove the automotive industry further, adding that the 9 percent increase in commercial vehicle exports largely covered the automobile-related decline just as in production. Pointing to the shrinkage in the commercial vehicle market since 2015, Yenigün noted, "Commercial vehicles in the domestic market are quite far from the point where they have to reach. For this reason, urgent measures must be taken especially for the revival of the heavy commercial vehicle market."