Bus-minibus-midibus exports, one of the subproduct groups of the automotive sector, rose by 18.91 percent in the first quarter of 2019.
According to the Automotive Industry Exporters' Association, the Turkish automotive sector exported buses, minibuses, and midibuses to 110 countries in 2018, amounting to $1.8 billion in exports with a 12.57 percent increase year-on-year.
In the first quarter of 2019, this automotive group saw an 18.91 percent increase in exports over the same period of the previous year, rising from $420.8 million achieved in the first quarter of 2018 to $500.4 million in the same period of this year.
If the sector's export growth trend continues as in the first quarter, the year-end export figure is expected to exceed $2 billion.
In the first quarter of the year buses, minibuses and midibuses were sold to 72 countries, with Romania taking the lead in terms of quantity.
Exports to Romania, which overtook Germany in this product group, surged 13.5-fold over the same period of the previous year from $5.58 million to $80.65 million. This figure amounted to $75 million of the export increase Turkey achieved in this product group in the first quarter.
Exports to Germany, which came second in exports this quarter fell by 19.73 percent to $69.4 million. Turkey's automotive exports to France, on the other hand, increased by 37 percent from $38.5 million to $52.9 compared to the same period of the previous year.
Meanwhile, exports to Italy, Poland, the U.K., Spain, Bulgaria, Croatia, Belgium, Hungary, Israel, Norway and Greece surpassed $10 million each in the January-March period.
Among these countries, Hungary saw a 7.5-fold increase in exports from $1.5 million to $12.6 million compared to the previous year.
Exports to Israel, which is among the leading countries in the export hike, rose from $2.2 million to $11 million, while exports to Greece climbed from $3 million to $10.5 million.