Another major Turkish automaker extends output suspension

Some of Turkey’s largest automotive producers have continued extending output suspensions due to disruptions in procurement, sales and delivery related to the expanding COVID-19 outbreak, which is expected to pull down automotive steel demand further in Turkey.

Coronavirus cases have continued to rise notably in Turkey, taking the total number of infections to 69,392 on Wednesday, while the death toll reached 1,518.

Following Ford Otosan’s decision in this sentiment to extend the stoppage until April 27, another of Turkey’s largest auto producers, TOFAS, has also decided to extend the stoppage until May 4, S&P Global Platts learned Thursday.

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.

“In our statement dated March 31, within the framework of the effects of the COVID-19, which influenced the world and our country, the disruptions in the supply and delivery processes from abroad were evaluated and factory closure until April 20, 2020 was announced to the public. As similar developments [are] continuing, the period was extended until May 4,” the company said.

As the suspensions by Turkey’s major automotive producers are extending, automotive steel demand in Turkey could be effected more than expected.

Some Turkish steel producers and re-rollers have already announced output cuts due to sluggish market sentiment arising from the coronavirus outbreak, as reported.

— Cenk Can