Despite shrinkage in the domestic market, the Turkish automotive industry hit an all-time high in exports before year-end and increased the number of countries to which it exports more than $1 billion worth of goods to eight in the first 11 months of this year.
The automotive industry exported to Germany, Italy, France, the U.K., Spain, Belgium, Slovenia and Poland, varying between $1.04 billion and $4.42 billion.
Unlike the same period last year, the U.S. market fell short of becoming one of the countries where $1 billion or more worth of exports were carried out to, while Slovenia and Poland surpassed this level for the first time.
According to information compiled from the Automotive Industry Exporters' Association (OİB) and the Turkish Exporters Assembly (TİM), the Turkish automotive sector exported to 182 countries and autonomous regions and 12 free trade areas, with developed Western countries taking the lead, on five continents from January to November this year.
The industry hit around $29.1 billion in exports in the first 11 months of the year. In doing so, it surpassed the export record of $28.5 billion reached in 2017, one month before year-end.
From January to November, $22.79 billion of total automotive exports, corresponding to 78.32 percent of all automotive exports, were made to EU countries that are the largest trade partners of Turkey.
While Turkey's overall automotive exports increased by 11.74 percent in the 11-month period, the growth rate in the EU market reached 13.13 percent.
From January to November, the Turkish automotive industry exported goods worth $1 billion or over to eight EU countries, constituting 62.73 percent ($18.25 billion) of all automotive exports.
In the same period, Germany remained the largest market for the Turkish automotive industry, reaching $4.413 billion, a 9.57 percent rise, followed by Italy with nearly $3.1 billion, a 7.41 percent rise, France with $2.96 billion, a 11.01 percent rise, the U.K. with around $2.69, a 6.32 percent rise, Spain with $1.66 billion, a 10.51 percent rise, and Belgium with nearly $1.35, a 19.81 percent rise.
Meanwhile, Slovenia and Poland's imports from the Turkish automotive industry exceeded $1 billion for the first time this year, with the former amounting to nearly $1.1, a 33.52 percent rise, and the latter amounting to $1.04 billion, a 23.99 percent rise.
Automotive industry exports to the U.S., one of the top 10 markets in this regard, stood at $996.63 million, a 23 percent fall, from $1.29 billion in the same period last year.
Uludağ Automotive Industry Exporters' Association Chairman Baran Çelik was cited by Anadolu Agency (AA) as saying that the Turkish automotive industry exported $1 billion or more worth of goods to seven countries - Germany, France, Italy, the U.K., Spain, the U.S. and Belgium - in 2017.
According to Çelik, in 2017, over $900 million in exports were made to Poland and Slovenia, which approached the threshold of $1 billion last year. This year, the high rate of increase in exports to Poland and Slovenia led to a rise in the number of countries that were exported more than $1 billion in the first 11 months to eight. From January to November, automotive sub-industry exports to Poland increased by 24 percent and tow truck exports to the same country increased by 246 percent. In the same period, the export of motor vehicles for good transportation to Slovenia and private cars went up by 32 percent and 42 percent, respectively.
Çelik emphasized that the 60 percent decline in the export of private cars to the U.S., which remained out of the top 10 markets in the 11-month period, led to a fall in overall automotive exports to this country, adding: "However, our automotive exports to the U.S. have reached $997 million in 11 months, indicating that the year will be close with an export figure above $1 billion. So, the number of countries to which exports of $1 billion dollars or more in the automotive industry will be nine at the end of the year. The Netherlands and Romania are the countries that will near the $1 billion threshold this year. Therefore, 11 countries will have the potential to be included in this list in 2019."