The share of diesel vehicle sales in the Turkish automobile market dropped to 41.7% in the first month of 2020, as more drivers turn to hybrid and electric vehicles.
Diesel accounted for around 60.6% of all car sales in Turkey in 2017, that share fell to 58.9% in 2018 and the decline has continued into 2019 to 52% and dropped to 41% in January 2020.
One of the key reasons behind diesel's ongoing slump is that several major car brands are moving away from diesel and gasoline engine vehicle sales in Turkey. Toyota has stopped selling diesel vehicles since 2019 while Hyundai is preparing to remove diesel options for some of its models.
The Korean automobile giant announced that its i20 model will no longer be available in the 1.4-liter diesel engine. Instead, the model will support a 48V mild-hybrid system. Other car producers have already started following Toyota and Hyundai’s steps, rewriting production plans toward electric and hybrid options.
Meanwhile, the sales of hybrid vehicles in Turkey increased by 286% in 2019 to reach a market share of 3%, before hitting 3.6% this January. Only 3,899 hybrid cars were sold in 2018 and this number increased to 11,974 in 2019 and is expected to jump to 20,000 in 2020. After the introduction of new hybrid models, the market share of hybrid cars is expected to reach 30% within the next three years with roughly 42,000 sales.
Among others, the number of factories producing hybrid vehicles in Turkey, which is among the few countries producing hybrid vehicles, will rise to four by the end of 2020.
Following in Toyota, Oyak Renault and Ford Otosan's examples, Hyundai Assan is beginning hybrid vehicle production. It will start hybrid vehicle production with the revamped i20 in the last quarter of 2020. It will also offer a hybrid engine option in the B-SUV model it will produce in 2021.
"Some 16,000 people have already pre-ordered the new Toyota Corolla Hatchback models with the majority of orders made for the hybrid options," said Toyota Turkey CEO Ali Haydar Bozkurt.
Bozkurt said the Turkey branch has enough demand and would start selling hybrid models tomorrow if they can supply the vehicles.
He added that Toyota Turkey is planning to sell 40,000 cars in 2020 and the number could go as high as 55,000 if they can secure adequate supply.
Diesel car sales have taken the biggest hit in the European markets in recent years due to Volkswagen’s “dieselgate” emissions scandal as well as environmental concerns over air pollution. Diesel cars accounted for 53% of the market in 2014 and plummeted to 36% in 2018. Sales fell to 31% in 2010 and experts expect that it will reach a low of 9% in 2030, with the decline accelerating after 2020.
Meanwhile, hybrid and electric car sales in Europe jumped to 8% in 2019 from 6% the previous year with a total of 1.28 million cars sold having a hybrid or electric engines.
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