Auto sales in Turkey seen to drop 2% to 800,000 next year

Article by Anita Panait, on November 27, 2013

Vehicle sales in Turkey are expected to drop 2 percent to 800,000 vehicles in 2014, no thanks to a weakening currency that renders imported cars more expensive and a move by the government to slow down auto loans, Renault Mais chief executive Ibrahim Aybar told Reuters. He, however, said the sales figure may increase to 810,000-820,000 units, noting that November and December are the most active months for auto sales, with deals helping increase the number by yearend.

Vehicle sales in Turkey jumped 9 percent in the first 10 months of 2013 to 644,359 units. Carmakers sold 777,761 vehicles in Turkey in 2012, when the automotive sector suffered from a slumping export market in Europe and weaker local demand. Renault is currently the market leader in Turkey in terms of passenger car sales, selling more than 100,000 units in the first 10 months of 2013, according to market researcher JATO Dynamics.

Aybar remarked that government measures to cut loans may also affect sales. BDDK, the country’s banking watchdog, is working on regulations to introduce a minimum 25 percent down-payment on auto loans and restrictions on the number of instalments. In the last six months, the Turkish lira has shrunk 14 percent against the euro and 8 percent against the US dollar.

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