The Diesel-engine vehicle market in Turkey is booming, due to increasing fuel prices. The rapid increase of the fuel prices in Turkey has changed the buying habits of Turkish automobile owners. In fact, Turkish customers are paying the highest gas prices in all of Europe. On every liter of fuel, almost 56% paid is tax. The current price of fuel per liter is $2.35.
The 2006 Turkish market was $500 million for purchasing automotive chemicals, lubricants, greases, fuel additives and general car care products. U.S. producers only accounted for 4.5% of the import market, or approximately USD 3 million. The rest of the import market is shared among the following countries: Belgium: 40.1%, Germany: 32.9%, Italy: 7.8%, Netherlands: 6.9%, U.K.: 6.3%, and the rest by France, Switzerland, and Spain. Domestically manufactured and refined petroleum products meet more than 85% of the market.
Few experts would have predicted a growing market for SUVs in Turkey. With dense urban populations and narrow streets, limited parking availability, exceptionally high gasoline prices, combined with an erratic economy. However, with an improved economy and changes in the daily Turkish life-style, the demand for larger and multifunctional vehicles, including SUVs has increased. Previously, only a very limited number of such vehicles were found on Turkish roads. The share of SUV sales in the total Turkish vehicle market used to be around 3%-4% a year. However, this share increased to 4.3% in the first eight months of 2005.
Very few people would predict a fast growing automotive accessories and specialty equipment market in Turkey, looking at the economic indications, and especially the very low per capita income of the citizens. Plus, Turkey has very strict rules on automobile codes: Legally, one cannot make any modifications on autos. However, Turkey has a very young population: Of the total 70 million people living in Turkey, nearly 50 percent is below the age of 20. Again, of the total population, 5-10 percent handles nearly the half of the total income of the country, and this is the target group of the Automotive Accessories and Specialty Equipment suppliers in Turkey.
Turkey’s automobile production industry rebounded in 2004 and has set new records for number of vehicles produced, exports and auto sales. Turkey’s automotive industry produced 862,035 passenger and utility vehicles (a 53% percent increase from 2003), and exported 518,607 cars and trucks (a 44% increase from 2003 and representing about 60% percent of total production). Turkey is the sixth largest automobile manufacturer in the European Union (EU) following Germany, France,
Spain, U.K. and Italy and ranks as the world’s 18th largest automobile manufacturer.