Another major Turkish auto producer pauses output

Turkey’s largest automotive steel producers have continued to announce output suspensions one after another in recent days, due to disruptions in the procurement, sales and delivery processes amid expanding the COVID-19 outbreak.

One of Turkey’s largest auto producers, TOFAS, has also decided to suspend production as of April 3 for two weeks at its plant in Bursa. Some of Turkey’s other major automotive producers, Ford Otosan, Toyota, Honda, Mercedes-Benz Turk and OYAK Renault, already announced two or three week output cuts.

“Within the framework of the measures taken to reduce the effects of coronavirus affecting the world, the disruptions in supply and delivery processes have been evaluated and as a result TOFAS decided to suspend production activities for two weeks,” the company said.

TOFAS also noted that in order to keep the effects of this decision at a minimum level, periodic maintenance activity will be carried out as much as possible during this period.

Bursa-based TOFAS is a joint venture of Turkey’s Koc Holding and Italian Fiat Chrysler with automobile production capacity of 450,000 units/year.

These suspensions by Turkey’s major automotive producers are expected to pull down automotive steel demand notably in Turkey, especially if these output cuts last longer than expected, given the expanding virus outbreak.

Many Turkish steel producers and re-rollers have already announced output cuts due to sluggish market sentiment arising from the globally expanding coronavirus outbreak.

— Cenk Can