ISTANBUL -- Turkish automotive sales are set to more than double to 750,000 in 2004, Ford's Turkish arm Otosan said on Wednesday, boosted by attractive consumer credit terms and a surge in demand.
Sector officials previously forecast sales volume of 700,000 this year compared to 366,927 units in 2003. Sales last year leapt 132.8 percent as the automotive industry rebounded from a slump triggered by a 2001 financial crisis.
Ford Otosan General Manager Turgay Durak said the domestic market would contract in the third quarter because of a weaker lira, a rise in consumer credit rates and a reduction in tax incentives on scrap vehicle sales.
"These developments have resulted in a decline in the vitality of demand ... we forecast that (the market) will grow again in the fourth quarter and end the year with sales of some 750,000 units," Durak told a news conference.
According to the Automotive Industry Association (OSD), total vehicle sales surged 217 percent to 381,305 units in the first half of the year.
However in June vehicle sales fell 25 percent month-on-month and car sales dropped 30 percent as a result of a government decision to halve the tax incentive on scrap vehicles, the OSD said in a report.
Major domestic vehicle producer Otosan is a joint venture between Ford Motor Co. and Turkish industrial conglomerate Koc Holding.
A report by the Istanbul Chamber of Industry on Tuesday showed Ford Otosan was the biggest private sector company in Turkey in terms of sales and the second-biggest company overall behind state oil refiner Tupras.
Otosan has said it targets domestic sales of 130,000 units this year and turnover of 3 billion euros ($3.6 billion).