According to figures from Turkey’s Automotive Manufacturer’s Association, 66% of the country’s vehicle production was exported in the first eight months of 2011, around 534,000 vehicles of a total production for the same period of 810,000.
Automotive is now the leading export sector in Turkey with a 20% share in of total export sales ahead of garments and confection, and the chemical and steel/iron sectors.
The vehicle figures show a 6% rise in exports on the same eight months of last year and this has been led by commercial vehicle exports, which increased 42% against static passenger car exports (0%) and a significant drop in minibus exports (-86%). Year projections show that passenger car exports will actually show a drop of just more than 3% in 2011.
Exports of vehicles in the first eight months were led by Oyak Renault, which exported 152,486, though this was slightly down on exports over the same period last year when the company hit nearly 161,000 by the end of August.
Second place Ford Otosan, a joint venture with Koc, actually saw an increase over the period from 106,262 vehicles exported in 2010 to 142,109 so far this year, a 33% growth in export sales. The company reported that its Transit export sales had increased by 39% year-to-date, with its leading export markets for the model being England, Germany, France, Spain and Russia.
Meanwhile, Ford Connect model exports sales had increased by 23% with North America the leading export market. Sales there have increased by a healthy 89% according to the company, to 23,650 units.
The company said that the frequency of vessel calls to the port of Yenikoy, near the Kocaeli plant, has helped boost export numbers and that an increase in the use of available capacity at plant has helped maintain domestic sales despite the export boost.
Tofas, the Fiat-Koc joint venture, came third with exports of 123,592, a drop of 9,345 on last year over the same period. However, last week Fiat signed an agreement with Tofas for the supply of the Fiat Doblò to Chrysler from 2013, where it will be sold in the US and Canadian markets under the Ram brand.

The seven-year supply agreement calls for Tofas to export a total of 190,000 units of the Doblò from its Bursa facility over the duration of the contract.

Chrysler said that Tofas will invest over $160m for the necessary US and Canadian homologation and customer requirement modifications.
In terms of automotive parts exports, according to figures from the Uludag Automotive Industry Exporters Union, they accounted for almost half of total automotive exports in August, equalling $725m, an increase of 47% over August 2010. Total parts and vehicle exports for the month came to $1.31 billion.