October auto sales shrink 13.6 pct as tax hikes bite
Fewer Turks opted to buy new passenger cars and light commercial vehicles in October as a hike in the private consumption tax (ÖTV) earlier in the month pushed prices for new cars even higher.

Data from Turkey's Union of Automotive Distributors (ODD) showed on Tuesday that the number of cars sold in October was 13.6 percent lower than that of the same month in 2011.

The modest figures come as a direct result of a hike in the ÖTV on cars that have an engine displacement of less than 1,600 cc. The ÖTV in this category was increased to 40 percent from 37 percent in October. An earlier report showed demand in passenger vehicles had shifted to used cars due to the tax hike.

Tuesday's ODD report puts October car sales at 59,938 units; this figure stood at 69,421 last October. ODD coordinator Hayri Ece cited the tax hike as well as a six-day work break for to Eid al-Adha and Republic Day as the reasons for October's relatively weaker performance. "In addition, the İstanbul Autoshow, on now, was a prominent factor pushing people to wait to see the latest models before making a decision to purchase," he explained. According to Ece, the ÖTV hike "will show its ugly face" through 2013, while this year's loss in car sales over 2011 is estimated to be as high as 10.5 percent.

Turkey's car sales reached only 590,651 units in the first 10 months of the year, a drop of 12.21 percent over last year.

(Cihan/Today's Zaman) CİHAN
Last Modified: 2012-11-06 20:00:01
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