Tofas, a joint venture between Fiat and Koc Holding, is expecting the car and van market in Turkey to post a 4-percent growth this year, as lower interest rates is encouraging consumers in the country to spend more. Okan Bas, Fiat's business director for Turkey, disclosed that Tofas expects vehicle sales in Turkey to reach around 810,000 vehicles -- 600,000 cars and 210,000 vans -- in 2013.
Carmakers in the country sold 778,000 vehicles -- 556,000 cars and 222,000 vans -- in 2012. In its previous full-year forecast, Tofas expected vehicle sales in Turkey to decline in 2013 to 750,000 units. According to data from the Automotive Manufacturers' Association, Turkey's passenger-car market surged 14 percent to 323,187 units in the first five months of 2013.
This growth prompted Tofas to update its forecast, despite the political protests in Istanbul and other cities last month. He disclosed that there is not "any difference" in car sales between the first two weeks of June 2013 and the same period in 2012.
Bas remarked that it is too early to comment on the full impact of the protests. Turkey's central bank trimmed the benchmark lending rate to 4.5 percent on May 16, 2013.
Tofas now expects to post 105,000 vehicles in Turkey in 2013, with a market share of 13 percent, Bas said. In 2012, Tofas sold 102,432 units and grabbed a market share of 13.1 percent, according to data from Automotive Distributors' Association. [source: Bloomberg]