ISTANBUL, Nov 25 (Reuters) - Turkish auto sales are set to fall 2 percent to 800,000 vehicles next year as a weakening currency makes imported cars more expensive and as the government tries to slow auto loans, the chief executive officer of Renault’s Turkish sales unit said.
“November and December are the most active months for automotive sales, and deals may help increase annual sales to 810,000-820,000 by the year end,” Renault Mais CEO Ibrahim Aybar told Reuters.
Turkish automotive sales in the first ten months of the year rose 9.09 percent to 644,359 units. In 2012, 777,761 vehicles were sold, when the sector was hit by a shrinking export market in Europe and weaker domestic demand.
Renault is the market leader in Turkey in terms of passenger car sales.
Aybar said the forex change have not been fully reflected so far due to competition, but may be reflected in prices in the first months of 2014. Government measures to reduce loans may also affect sales, he said.
“We expect sales to be around 800,000 vehicles next year,” he added.
The Turkish lira has lost 8 percent against the U.S. dollar and 13.5 percent against the euro in the last six months.
Turkey’s banking watchdog BDDK is working on regulations to introduce a minimum 25 percent down payment on vehicle loans and restrictions on the number of instalments. (Reporting by Evren Ballim; Writing by Ece Toksabay; Editing by Louise Heavens)