Auto production in Turkey is seen to post a new record in 2014, thanks to a recovery in vehicle demand in Europe that is boosting exports from the country, according the Automotive Manufacturers Association (OSD). OSD expects auto production to surge 11 percent to 1.25 million units this year, from 1.13 million units last year.
OSD chief Kudret Onen is confident that vehicle output will break the record this year thanks to rising exports. He remarked increased capacity and exports will help the Turkish auto industry to build more than 1.19 million units.
He said he expects exports to be at record levels at around 910,000 units. Turkey's current production record was made in 2011, when it built 1.19 million units. The rising production has been attributed to Turkey’s geographical position as a link between Asia and Europe as well as to the country’s relatively cheap labor costs.
These are what persuaded global carmakers like Toyota Motor Corp. and Ford Motor Co. to shift some of their production to the country. Oman remarked that Toyota and Ford models helped in the surge in exports.
Toyota commenced output of a new version of the Corolla in Turkey in 2013, while Ford started production of the Ford Transit Courier and Ford Tourneo Courier in May 2014. Fiat Chrysler and Hyundai are also bound to launch new models in conjunction with their joint venture partners in Turkey this year.
Auto sales account for around 14 percent of the country overall exports. Turkey’s total vehicle exports in 2013 reached 828,000 units valued at $21.5 billion – 70 percent of which were shipped to Europe.