Vehicle sales in Turkey are expected to reach around 820,000 units this year, according to Tofas chief executive Kamil Basaran. Tofas, a joint-venture between Fiat and Koc Holding, reiterated its production target for 2013 at 255,000 vehicles, of which 160,000 units will be exported. Tofas built 256,428 vehicles and exported 154,069 units in 2012.
Basaran told Reuters that economic conditions in Turkey in next month may results to a slightly lower than expected results, citing rising interest rates and a weakening Turkish Lira. He remarked that in September and October, the rising cost of loans, as well as exchange rate increases, little by little will be added into vehicle prices. He noted there will be an increase in prices of imported brands, due to pressure from the euro and dollar, adding that "competition will become more of an issue," he said.
Tofas imports Fiat Group vehicles from the Fiat, Alfa Romeo, Lancia, Jeep, Maserati and Ferrari brands. The Turkish economy only jumped 2.2 percent in 2012 as local demand slowed down. The Turkish economy is expected to grow between 3 and 4 percent this.
The Turkish Lira has dropped 14 percent against the dollar, hitting a record low on Wednesday due to concerns on a possible United States-led strikes against its neighbor Syria as well as following a decision by the central bank to rule out rate hikes to defend the currency. Tofas exports light commercial vehicles to 80 countries in Europe, the Middle East, North Africa and South America. The company will soon commence exporting its new Doblo van in North America.