Investment Opportunities in Turkey’s Thriving Automotive Industry

SEPTEMBER 18, 2023

Turkey’s thriving automotive industry serves as a cornerstone of the nation’s manufacturing sector, holding a significant role in its economic landscape. Mainly concentrated in the Marmara Region, this sector has experienced remarkable growth and transformation in recent years. In 2022, Turkey maintained its position as the 13th largest motor vehicle producer globally, with a production output of 1,352,648 vehicles. While the peak production reached 1,695,731 vehicles in 2017, when Turkey also ranked 13th, the industry continues to flourish (Refer to Table 1 below).

This article delves into the Turkish automotive sector, shedding light on key players, notable achievements, and its pivotal role in the global automotive network. Turkey takes pride in several prominent automotive companies that have earned international acclaim. TEMSA, Otokar, and BMC, in particular, have solidified their positions as leading manufacturers of vans, buses, and trucks worldwide. These companies haven’t just met domestic demand but have also expanded their footprint in global markets. An outstanding addition to Turkey’s automotive landscape is Togg, short for Turkey’s Automobile Joint Venture Group Inc. Togg represents a groundbreaking initiative as the country’s first all-electric vehicle manufacturer. This bold move underscores Turkey’s commitment to sustainable mobility and its aspirations to carve a significant niche in the electric vehicle market.

Table 1: Automotive Production by Country (Million Units)

Country 2019 2020 2021 2022
SOUTH KOREA 3.95 3.50 3.46 3.75
GERMANY 4.66 3.74 3.30 3.67
MEXICO 3.98 3.17 3.14 3.50
BRAZIL 2.01 2.01 2.25 2.37
SPAIN 2.82 2.27 2.10 2.22
INDONESIA 1.28 0.691 1.12 1.47
FRANCE 2.20 1.31 1.35 1.38
TURKEY 1.46 1.30 1.28 1.35
CANADA 1.91 1.37 1.11 1.29
UK 1.388 0.987 0.932 0.879
ITALY 0.915 0.777 0.795 0.796
OTHER 65.21 56.50 59.31 62.34
WORLD 91.78 77.62 80.14 85.01
Source: OICA

The Turkish automotive sector seamlessly integrates itself into the global production network. With a cluster of car-makers and parts suppliers, it has become an integral part of the worldwide automotive value chain. This integration has facilitated the sector’s impressive export performance, with Turkey exporting nearly $20 billion worth of motor vehicles and components. In 2017, approximately 85% of Turkey’s automotive exports found their way to Europe. This dominance in the European market underscores the industry’s quality and competitiveness. Turkish manufacturers consistently meet the rigorous standards and demands of European customers, making them preferred partners and suppliers for European automakers (See Graph 1 below).

Graph 1: European Automotive Production (Million Units / 2022)

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Source: OICA

Several major global automakers have recognized Turkey’s potential as a manufacturing hub. These companies have established production plants within the country, further fueling the industry’s growth. Notable examples include Fiat/Tofaş, Oyak-Renault, Hyundai, Toyota, and Ford Otosan. These strategic investments have not only contributed to Turkey’s production capabilities but have also created employment opportunities and stimulated economic growth in the region.

Turkey’s automotive industry serves as a dynamic and rapidly evolving sector within the nation’s economy. It continues to play a pivotal role in manufacturing and exports, both regionally and globally. Turkish automotive companies are not just keeping up with industry trends but are also leading in the field of electric vehicles, demonstrating the nation’s commitment to sustainability. With a well-established presence in the European market and the presence of global automotive giants within its borders, Turkey’s automotive industry is well-prepared to meet the challenges and opportunities presented by the world’s shift toward electric and sustainable mobility. It ensures continued growth and prosperity on the global stage.

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