Automotive Industry in Turkey: Why Exports are Surging

The automotive industry in Turkey has enjoyed steady growth over the recent years, and now it has emerged as one the largest contributors to the country’s GDP and export earnings. In 2016, Turkey was already ranked as the 14th world’s biggest automotive manufacturing country with a total auto production of over 1.4 million units. This year, Turkey’s automotive industry is expected to continue its production growth and achieve a much higher automotive export.

The state of exports in the automotive industry in Turkey


According to the data from Automotive Industry Exporters’ Association (OIB), The automotive industry in Turkey increased its exports from $11.7 billion in the first half of last year to $14.4 billion in the same period of 2017, representing an impressive 22.4% rise over the same period. The automotive exports from Turkey, which recorded total $23.8 billion in exports last year, is on route to an all-time high of $27 billion in 2017, surpassing its previous record of $24.7 billion in 2008.


Last year, Turkey’s automotive sector was the biggest exporter with around $23.9 billion in exports, up from $21.3 billion in 2015, representing a 17 percent share in the total volume of exports, which has placed the automotive industry as the leader of Turkish exports for the 11th year in a row, reported by the Automotive Manufacturers Association (OSD). Currently, Turkey’s automotive industry constituted nearly 20% of Turkey’s total exports in the first half of the year, and this figure is still growing.


The exports market is increasing for cars made in Turkey


So far, Germany was the largest export market of the Turkish automotive industry with a $4 billion export value in 2016. The automotive exports value to Germany increased by 20% year on year, followed by Italy, France, Spain and Slovenia with increases of 49%, 19%, 21% and 18% respectively. The total value of Turkey’s automotive exports to EU countries reached nearly $19 billion.


Over the recent years, Turkey has become one of the world’s most popular production centers for many international car brands, mainly thanks to its preferential geographical location between Europe and Asia. More than 250 global auto manufacturers and suppliers have located in Turkey by now, including Ford, Fiat, Daimler, AVL and Segula, who have their design and engineering and product development activities in Turkey. Meanwhile, Ford also has one of its three global R&D centers based in Turkey, Fiat has its only R&D center in Bursa apart from Italy, serving to the European market. The German track and bus company Daimler is maintaining its manufacture operations in its R&D center located in Turkey.


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