The Turkish automotive industry reached $2.9 billion in foreign sales last month with an increase of 5% compared to the same month of the previous year, achieving the highest export growth in 2019 on a monthly basis. The high automotive export figures were boosted by the substantial increase in sales to the Netherlands and the U.S., which saw a rise of 131% and 55%, respectively. According to Uludağ Automotive Industry Exporters Association (OIB) and Turkish Exporters Assembly (TİM) data, exports by the automotive industry increased by 5% in July compared to the same month of the previous year.
This export data was also recorded as the fourth highest foreign sales figure in the history of the automotive industry on a monthly basis.
The increase in exports of passenger cars and buses, minibuses and midibuses in July reflected positively on the sector's exports. The share of the automotive industry, which ranked first in Turkey's foreign sales, from the country's overall exports stood at 18%.
Last month, Germany led the way in Turkey's automotive exports with $413.6 million. Exports to this country increased by 5% compared to the same month of the previous year.
Exports to France, the second-largest market in the automotive sector, rose by 20% to $385.8 million. The Italian market ranked third with $269.2 million and 6% increase in exports.
In the sector, exports to the Netherlands surged by 131% to $146.2 million, while the U.S. market saw a 55% increase with $138.3 million. Automotive exports to Poland, another major market for the sector, reached $109.5 million with an increase of 37%.
The increase in exports to the U.S. was led by the 343% rise in passenger cars and a 100% increase in buses, minibuses, and midibuses.
In 2016, the automotive industry achieved $700.5 million in exports to the country, breaking a record in 2017 with $1.4 billion. In 2018, on the other hand, exports dropped to $1.1 billion.
Since 2015, one of the leading automotive companies in Turkey, Tofaş, has been selling the Doblo to the U.S. market under the RAM brand.
Toyota has been exporting the C-HR model produced in its Sakarya plant since 2017. As of June 2019, the RAM Promaster City reached 63,000 sales in the U.S., while the total sales figure of Toyota C-HR stood at 101,000 units.
The 319% increase in motor vehicles along with the 68% rise in passenger cars was instrumental in the exports hike to the Netherlands.
Exports to Germany, which has the largest share in Turkey's automotive exports, stood at $2.6 billion in seven months of the year, seeing an 8.5% decrease compared to the same period last year. In the same period, France, the second-largest market for the country's automotive exports, experienced an increase of 4% to $2.2 billion.
In the January-July period, automotive exports to the Netherlands rose by 18% to $661 million, followed by the United States with 14% and $631 million, Poland with 7% and $680 million, and Israel with 25% and $426 million.
The sector hit an all-time high in 2018, raising its exports by 11% to $31.6 billion. It took the lead for the 13th time in a row in annual exports.
The EU countries were the largest export destinations for the Turkish automobile industry, reaching $24.6 billion with an increase of 78%.