Ford extends Turkish output halt; Mercedes, Honda restart

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, while others have restarted output this week.

Ford Otosan, a joint venture between Turkey’s Koc Holding and Ford Deutschland Holding, which previously extended the stoppage from April 13 to April 27, re-extended the stoppage till May 4, S&P Global Platts learned from a company statement.

“Taking into consideration the decisions taken by Ford of Europe to continue to apply temporary suspension of its production operations due to the disruption in European trade and problems in the supply chain in parallel with the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic, temporary suspension of production in our Kocaeli plants is extended until May 4,” the company said.

Another of Turkey’s largest auto producers, Bursa-based TOFAS, has also decided to extend its stoppage until May 4, as Platts reported last week.

Two other Turkish auto producers, Mercedes- Benz Turk and Honda, have restarted production at their plants in Turkey as of April, 20, Platts learned.

Due to the suspensions by Turkey’s major carmakers steel demand in Turkey was already effected. But in line with the restart of the automotive production, demand is expected to recover gradually in May.

— Cenk Can