Turkey’s economic recovery and vehicle market comeback is continuing this year, according to figures released by TSKB Research in Istanbul. TSKB says that growth in vehicle sales is being underpinned by improving market sentiment, declining interest rates and customer incentives.

Turkish vehicle sales reached 78,864 units in the first two months of the year, some 223% ahead of the same period last year. TSKB expects that low interest rates will continue to stimulate demand this year, powering the market to a new record of 672,365 units – some 12% ahead of 2003’s total.

In the first two months, domestic passenger car sales (wholesale figures) increased by 276% over the same period of last year to stand at 29,307 units, led by Renault. TSKB forecasts Turkish passenger car sales at 424,000 units in 2004, a 12% gain on 2003’s total of 227,036 units.

The forecaster adds that consumer confidence in Turkey could improve still further if the government sticks to economic reforms, Turkey participates in the restructuring of post-war Iraq and the EU gives Turkey a date for possible EU accession.

In addition to the stronger domestic scene, TSKB also notes that vehicle production in Turkey continues to grow alongside expanding exports – especially from local operations set up by Toyota, Renault and Ford. Toyota was the biggest exporter in the first two months of the year, with exports up by 126%.