Automotive Sector in Turkey
The first efforts to develop and produce the first Turkish-made passenger car were undertaken in the 1960s. Thus began a period of rapid industrialization and progress during which this important sector transformed itself from assembly-based partnerships to a fully-fledged industry with not only massive production capacity but design capability. Today’s Turkish automotive industry is highly efficient and competitive with its value-added production, matching and surpassing international quality and safety standards.
Thanks to cooperation between the key components of the industry, the sector’s export and R&D capacity is supported by high productivity levels and includes extensive subdivisions, as well as positive interaction created in the joint university-industry projects and advanced logistics facilities. The Turkish automotive industry is fully compliant with EU environmental and technical standards, as well as other international legislation. The country’s superior production capacity easily meets customer expectations and is one of the industry’s strong points.
Turkey has become the largest commercial vehicle producer in Europe and ranks 16th worldwide (as of 2010), producing more than one million vehicles per year. Turkey’s automotive industry has achieved this impressive growth without sacrificing innovation or the flexible structure that brought it success in the first place. Around 70 percent of the domestic production is being exported. Meanwhile, the number of vehicles sold in the domestic market was around 800,000 (as of 2010).
The Turkish automotive industry directly employs some 300,000 qualified workers. These workers are employed by a total of 17 domestic and foreign principal producers supplemented by approximately 4,000 sub-industry companies.
The past 10 years have seen Turkey’s GDP per capita steadily rise from USD 2,500 in 2000, to exceed USD 10,000 in 2010. This is in large part due to its growing economy and stable fiscal structure, with capacity increasing along with domestic demand. A sign of the strong potential of the sector is the level of private car ownership, which was 100 cars per 1,000 people in 2010.
International relations and the representation power of research and promotion platforms, including the Automotive Technologies Research and Development Center (OTAM) and the Automotive Industry Promotion Committee (OETK), actively guide the sector and contribute to the global strength of the Turkish automotive sector. There are also a number of professional associations and unions, such as the Automotive Manufacturers Association (OSD), the Association of Automotive Distributors (ODD), the Association of Automotive Parts and Components Manufacturers (TAYSAD), the Union of Uludag Automotive Parts and the Components Exporters Associations (UTAYSİB).
Ambitious targets for the near future, such as achieving two million units in vehicle production, increasing export volume to USD 50 billion, the realization of various R&D and P&D operations worth billions of US dollars and the formation of an “automotive production hub” that employs 600,000 workers and manufactures globally recognized quality and value-added products, have been set for the Turkish automotive industry.