The automotive sector in Turkey: A baseline analysis
Turkey is one of the largest vehicle manufacturing countries in the world, and the auto industry plays a key role in the Turkish economy. For Turkey, it is of particular importance to ensure that the industry is ready to meet challenges such as local air pollution, climate change, and energy security by offering innovative vehicles that can compete on the global market. Well-tested policy measures can help drive forward the necessary innovations.
This paper provides a transparent assessment of the vehicle market in Turkey to domestic policymakers and stakeholders as well as to an interested international audience. It summarizes the status of vehicle production and sales, and the impact the automotive sector on fuel consumption and emissions in Turkey, compared these in particular to the situation in Germany because the automotive industry plays such a vital role in both economies. Vehicle statistics for Turkey are compared to the EU-28 market as well as other key automotive markets worldwide.
Passenger cars and light commercial vehicles account for three-quarters of Turkey’s vehicle fleet. The level of efficiency of new cars and LCVs is similar to that of comparable vehicles in Germany and the EU. At present trends, CO2 emissions from road transport in Turkey will approximately double by 2030. As CO2 emissions and fuel consumption are directly linked to each other, this would also mean roughly doubling oil consumption over the next years. Turkey is one of the few key automotive markets worldwide yet to introduce mandatory vehicle CO2 standards. Such standards, combined with additional measures such as vehicle taxation based on CO2 and incentives for electrified vehicles and alternative fuels, could influence those emissions and consumption trends.
Heavy-duty vehicles account for only about one-tenth of the market in Turkey, but they are responsible for more than half of fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. Other global regions (the United States, Canada, China, and Japan) have introduced mandatory efficiency standards for new HDVs, and the EU will likely do so as well. Given the importance of truck and bus manufacturing in Turkey, not only for the domestic vehicle market but also for export, HDV efficiency standards could be viable there as well.
About half of all new cars in Turkey are first registered in the Istanbul area. This highlights the importance of that city in particular, and of Turkey’s cities in general to the deployment of innovative vehicle technologies. Urban areas are typically most affected by the negative impacts of road transportation, such as high levels of local air pollutants. But cities can take action to incentivize the deployment of low-emission vehicles, through policies such as improving alt-fuel and electric-vehicle infrastructure or establishing low-emission zones, that complement and support national clean transportation policies.