Turkey is Ramping up its Automotive Industry

Turkey is Ramping up its Automotive Industry
Turkey's Growing Automotive Industry
Written on: 15 November 2017

The Turkish government has a grand vision to be one of the top performing economies in the world by 2023. If we are to look at their performance over the last ten years, they could well achieve their targets.

Their key strength has been their diversity. Working with many different nationalities to boost many industries, one of the strong performers is the automotive industry. In 2016, vehicles were Turkey’s top performing export, and all indications predict 2017, will likewise be a record-breaking year for the shipping cars abroad.

Vehicle Exports from Turkey

In 2016, vehicle exports from Turkey clocked up an astounding 19.8 billion USD in value. Accounting for 13.9% of the overall export industry, from January to June 2017, exports had increased 28% year on year. Predictions estimate by the end of 2017, the vehicle export industry of Turkey would reach an incredible 26 billion USD in value.

Exports to Germany rose by 15% in September 2017, which surprised many given the recent turbulent relationship between the two countries. Vehicles export values to France rose by 5% and by 13% to Italy. One of the star performers, however, is exports to the USA, a humongous market. They rose by 118%, despite America’s current political course to keep everything American.

Turkey has also kept up figures to 27 EU countries, which is likewise one of their biggest markets. Orhan Sabuncu, chairman of the Uludag Automotive Industry Exporters’ Association, told the state-run Anadolu news agency that $78 of every $100 income from automotive exports comes from EU countries,

So far in 2017, vehicle exports from Turkey account for one-fifth of the total export industry. The current results and predictions are not reflective of domestic sales though, that dropped to sales of 306,000 vehicles, which some insider industry experts are blaming on ongoing exchange and interest rates.

Experts are also warning against becoming complacent since the yearly Deloitte's Millennial Survey has suggested electric, internet connected and shared vehicle ownership are likely to become the key factors in future vehicle ownership. They also indicate by 2040, vehicle sales can decrease by 40% and most sales will not be the traditional vehicle model used today.

Made in Turkey: Big Plans to Dominate the Global Market

The Turkish government is fully aware of the global vision of the automotive industry in the future. It is one of ever changing technology and demands, and Turkey wants to stay one step ahead. France is known for the Citroen car while Britain has long enjoyed a stellar reputation for the Aston Martin. Likewise, mention the Audi and everyone who knows their vehicles will refer to Germany. The prestige of a country producing a globally famous car is just too much of a lure for Turkey, and they want to create their own brand to sell all over the globe.

The country’s largest manufacturers were all invited to the planning stages, and the Minister of Science, Industry and Technology unveiled a roadmap into exactly how Turkey will build, sell and promote their Turkish vehicle that supplies to the demands of drivers all over the world.  

The project will get a kickstart by being associated with already well-known brands, and they will also produce more than one model. They have also ambitiously said the Turkish vehicle would be of much better quality but available for a lower price than other leading car brands.

As well as looking for global domination, they plan to sell the new vehicle en-mass within Turkey. This will happen naturally as the country increases its GDP, as outlined in their 2023 economy vision plan.

When the government revealed full details of the plan, several local officials expressed interest in the manufacturing plants to be in their provinces, because of potential to create thousands of jobs.

A few mayors from areas like Kayseri, Erzurum, and Zonguldak said the factories should be away from the Istanbul and Marmara regions, which are already business and industry hubs. Instead, placing the plants in eastern Anatolian areas could prevent migration and ease pressure off Istanbul that is already the country’s largest populated city.

The three companies heading the conglomerate are Anadolu, BMC and Vestel, one of the country’s leading electronic companies. The event was also much publicised by Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s meeting with the billionaire startup investor Elon Musk. As well as discussing the domestic vehicle, they talked about satellite and traffic congestion in cities.

Elon Musk is the CEO of Tesla, a company specialising in electric vehicles. They have released various award-winning cars and is now the number one car maker in the USA, outranking General Motors that held first place for many decades. Exact details weren’t revealed of what was discussed in the meeting, but Elon Musk has a reputation for forward thinking and invention. If Turkey plans to build a state of the art car for the future, there is no better person to help them with their vision.

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