Turkish auto output plunges in March, bottom seen in April

Turkish automotive production fell sharply in March, amid the COVID-19 outbreak which especially hit export demand, S&P Global Platts observed from the latest Turkish Automotive Manufacturers’ Association (OSD) data published Monday.

As most major Turkish automakers have paused their output as of the end of March, due to disruptions in procurement, sales and delivery related to the virus outbreak, Turkey’s auto output is expected to hit bottom in April.

According to the OSD, total automotive production in Turkey decreased by 22% on year in March to 103,350 units, as exports fell by 30% to 83,771 units.

Turkish automotive production in the first three months of 2020 totaled 341,136 units, down 6% from last year, while total export sales declined 14% to 276,348 units.

After falling to the lowest level of the last 16 years in 2019, automotive sales in Turkey showed a notable recovery in the first two months of this year, amid lower interest rates. However, as the COVID-19 outbreak negatively impacted demand, automobile sales in Turkey fell significantly in the last week of March, amid sharp exchange rate fluctuations.

The stoppages by major auto producers as well as some other industry sectors in Turkey have also notably pulled down the nation’s steel demand in general. Some Turkish steel producers have already announced output cuts, while some have paused their output.

— Cenk Can