Turkish automotive production (except agricultural tractors) rose 14% year on year to 621,695 units in the first half of 2011, the local automotive manufacturers association (OSD) said. June production climbed 8% to 109,189 vehicles.

Thanks to domestic demand, the capacity utilisation rate (CUR) increased to 79% in the first half, up from last year’s 72%.

Oyak Renault top automotive manufacturer, building 178,720 units, followed by Tofas [Fiat] and Ford Otosan, with 167,714 and 149,433 units respectively.

Domestic retail sales rose 54% to 445,090 units in the first half and by 35% to 85,689 units in June.

The association said a rise in demand has been consistent since mid-2010 but is now slowing due to government moves to reel in loans. June volume growth was just 1% versus May.

Domestic factory sales rose 39% to 190,611 units in the first half and 7% in June, mostly due to commercial vehicle demand.

Turkey is a key export hub for the likes of Ford's Transit Connect van, Toyota's Verso minivan and Corolla sedan and various Renaults. First half shipments abroad climbed 5% year on year to 417,348 units and 4% to 70,705 units in June.

Sector export revenue – including motor vehicles, parts and accessories – rose 18% to US$10.3bn.

Oyak-Renault was top exporter in the first half, shipping 124,112 units. Ford Otosan and Tofas followed with 109,904 and 101,148 units, respectively.

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