Finished vehicle production in Turkey increased 59% in the first four months of 2010 compared with the same period last year, driven in part by export demand according to the country’s Automotive Industry Association. The improvement has led to a consequent increase in road haulage, port and shipping activity.
Production reached nearly 350,000 units over the period, with April accounting for around 90,000 units, up 18.9% on the same month in 2009 (excluding tractor production).
Vehicle exports in the first four months reached 264,307 units–58.6% ahead of last year.
Turkish carmaker Tofas, a joint venture with Fiat, recorded exports of 52,000 in the first quarter and has negotiated extra space at the Port of Gemlik to accommodate the increase in the throughput of vehicles.
“To manage the pick up, we have had several meetings with Gemlik port authority in Turkey,” Tofas’ CBU dispatch manager, Ahmet Düztepe, told Automotive Logistics News. “They have dedicated extra area to be able manage the extra volume.
“We have also visited Fiat’s ship operator in their headquarters in Napoli and talked about the details of the transfer of extra volume. They have also increased their voyage numbers to Turkey,” said Düztepe.
Fiat uses Grimaldi for shipments between Turkey and the port of Salerrno, and Grimaldi’s president Costantino Baldissara confirmed that volume has been increased in the first quarter thanks to the Italian vehicle incentive scheme, though that scheme has now ended.
With reference to movements between the Tofas’s facility in Bursa and the port, the company has also increased the logistics operators it is working with, including MEPAR Transport and ILCE Transport.
“We have had to work hard to carry the produced cars on time, increasing the number of logistic companies we were working with and asking each of them to be ready in terms of truck and driver numbers,” said Düztepe, adding that up until now the company has suffered no “significant inconvenience” with the movements.
Düztepe said that the company was transporting 30-40 trucks a day, moving 300-350 cars.
Meanwhile, at Ford Otosan, the pick up in exports had a positive impact on production, which has increased 22% on last year. Export figures for the company have lept 22,000 units to 50,000 for the first four months of 2010.
Despite reports that the domestic market is performing less well, accounting for just under 104,000 vehicles produced, slightly down on last year, Ford Otosan’s Cengiz Kabatepe said the company was currently enjoying a better recovery in the local market.