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Turkey’s motor vehicle production plummeted by 91 percent in April amid pandemic

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Turkey’s production of motor vehicles dove by 91 percent in April year-on-year as domestic demand declined and exports ground almost to a halt due to the coronavirus outbreak, the Ahval news website reported.

The output of cars and other motorized transport fell to 11,164 units last month from 127,913 in April of last year, according to data published by the Automotive Manufacturers’ Association (OSD) on Sunday.

Turkey’s leading carmakers announced temporary halts to production after foreign clients put orders on hold due to the coronavirus outbreak and as the government imposed curbs on travel. Firms across the country are also delaying purchases after the sales of goods and services plummeted.

Exports fell by an annual 90 percent in April to 10,613 units. Imports rose 5.6 percent to 18,652 units. Domestic sales declined by 15 percent to 27,211 units.

The output of commercial vehicles plummeted by 97 percent to 1,503 units. Producers manufactured no minibuses at all compared with 5,025 in April of last year. Passenger car production fell by an annual 88 percent to 9,661 units.

Turkey’s motor vehicle industry, along with the construction sector, has proven a mainstay of economic growth and exports for Turkey. Manufacturers benefitted as the economy expanded apace prior to a failed military coup in 2016. But demand has waned since and declined further following a currency crisis in the summer of 2018.

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