The Automotive Distributors Association (ODD) disclosed that sales of cars and light commercial vehicles in Turkey were 30,971 units in April 2019, 56.5% lower than the figure for the same month of the previous year. Sales of cars fell 55.7% to 24,416 units, and sales of light commercial vehicles fell 59.1% to 6,555 units in April 2019 compared with the same month of the previous year. It was in March and April of 2018 when the domestic automotive market started to go into freefall. The sales of cars and commercial vehicles in the month of April over the last six years shows how bad a hit Turkey’s domestic market has taken. The figures are 53,305 (2014), 91,602 (2015), 84,887 (2016), 75,988 (2017), 71,126 (2018), and 30,971 (2019). Following the 2014 peak of 91,602 units, domestic sales have fallen by 66.2% to 30,971 units in 2019.
In the first four months of 2019, sales of cars and light commercial vehicles in Turkey were 119,440 units, 48% lower than the figure for the same period of the previous year. Sales of cars decreased 47.5% to 93,228 units, and sales of light commercial vehicles decreased 49.7% to 26,212 units.
In the first four months of 2019, sales of diesel automobiles were 54.6% and sales of automatic gearbox automobiles were 64.5%. Of commercial vehicle sales, 18,826 (71.8%) vans, 3,294 (12.6%) light trucks, 1,963 (7.5%) pick-up trucks, and 2,129 (8.1%) minibuses were sold.
Turkey’s current economic crisis is clearly having a drastic effect on the automotive market. Car manufacturers, importers and distributors in Turkey are now reluctantly reassessing their operations as it is uncertain for how long this recesssion will last. The only reprieving factor is exports, but with a global economic downturn, this market is also at risk. The Turkish government’s reductions of the special consumption tax on motor vehicles with engines under 1600 cc to 15%, and the VAT on commercial vehicles to 1% from 18% have been extended until the end of June 2019. This action has not however so far succeeded in stemming the fall in domestic automotive sales.
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