TODAY’S – Auto sales plunge 25 pct in first half of year

Auto sales plunge 25 pct in first half of yearTurkey’s domestic auto sales — covering passenger cars and light commercial vehicles — suffered a 24.85 percent slump in sales in the first six months of this year compared to the same period in 2013 amid a weakening lira, hikes on auto taxes and restrictions on bank loans, data showed on Thursday.

Data released by the Automotive Distributors Association (ODD) on Thursday found that sales dropped 25 percent to 286,861 vehicles in the first half compared to the same period last year A total of 381,743 vehicles were sold in the first half of 2013.In June, automotive sales fell 19 percent to 60,163 units when compared to June of last year Last year’s government hikes on the private consumption tax (TV) along with the measures to curb bank loans are cited among the major factors that have pulled automotive sale numbers down.

A significant decline in value of the Turkish lira against the US dollar and the euro was also a key factor that discouraged people against replacing their cars or buying a new one. Also, the TV on cars that have an engine displacement of less than 1,600cc was increased to 40 percent from 37 percent in Oct.

2013. However, the ODD did not change its year-end sales forecast of 650,000-700,000 vehicles.

Turkish drivers preferred cars in the A, B and C tax bands, in which auto tax is relatively lower In the year’s first half, 83.4 percent of cars sold were in these bands.

According to the ODD report, the largest decline in sales in the first half compared to a last year was experienced in light commercial vehicles, with a 31.85 percent drop to 61,088 units.

Passenger car sales also decreased by 22.71 percent to 225,773 units in the same period.

With regard to engine size, passenger cars with an engine of over 2,000cc suffered a 14 percent decline in sales in the first half of last year Sales of cars with engines between 1,600cc and 2,000cc declined by 39.6 percent while this number was 21.

9 percent for those less than 1,600 cc. The price of a liter of 95 octane unleaded gasoline is currently TL 512, while it is TL 446 for diesel fuel and TL 284 for LPG.

SOURCE: Today’s Zaman