The Turkish automotive industry, which picked up some recent losses in the domestic market, has seen a rise in exports – exceeding $16 billion in the first half of the year – with more than 80 percent going to European countries. According to the Automotive Distributors' Association (ODD) and Turkish Exporters' Association (TİM), the Turkish automotive and light commercial vehicle industry contracted 11.92 percent in the first half of the year compared to the previous year. The industry, however, recorded $16.4 billion in exports with a 14.5 percent rise compared to the same period of last year.
In accordance with these figures, the automotive exports constituted 20 percent of Turkey's total exports in the first half, which exceeded $80 billion. Meanwhile in the first half of 2017, automotive exports stood at $14.3 billion.
The automotive sector's exports to the European Union and other European countries in the first half of the year increased by 15 percent and hit $13.6 billion, making up 80.5 percent of Turkey's $16.4 billion automotive exports in the first half of the year.
Europe was followed by the Middle East for the Turkish automotive industry. Car sales to Middle Eastern countries rose by 2.2 percent, reaching $805.1 million.
With exports over $2.4 billion, Germany was the biggest market for Turkish manufacturers. It was followed by Italy with $1.8 billion and France with $1.7 billion. The U.K. ranked fourth in Turkey's automotive exports with $1.4 billion. Accordingly, automotive sales separately to Germany, Italy, France and the U.K. each exceeded $1 billion.
In contrast, sales to the U.S. dropped by $159 million and stood at $463 million. Automotive sales to Iran and Denmark also fell by $51 million $22 million respectively while the decrease in exports to Ireland was at $19 million. Turkish automotive industry's exports to Syria also saw a $15 million fall in the first half of the year.
In 2017, the total automotive production increased by 13 percent to 1.7 million 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, according to Automotive Manufacturers Association (OSD) data.
With these figures, both total automotive and automobile production reached their highest levels in Turkey.
In 2017, total automotive exports increased by 17 percent and automobile exports by 24 percent compared to the previous year. In this period, total exports amounted to 1.3 million units, followed by automobile exports with 921,000 units. Thus, 80 percent of the total production in the automotive industry was exported.
According to the Turkish Exporters Assembly (TİM) data, total automotive industry exports maintained the leading position in 2017 with an 18.2 percent share in exports.