Turkish car sales drop 55 percent in May

Sales of cars and light commercial vehicles in Turkey slid by an annual 55 percent in May, continuing a slump that now totals 50 percent in the first five months of the year.

Passenger car sales dropped by 53 percent last month to 27,126 units, the Automotive Distributors Association (ODD) said on its website on Tuesday. Sales of vans and other light commercial vehicles declined by an annual 62 percent to 5,890 units, it said.

Turkish sales of motor vehicles are sliding after the economy entered a recession in the second half of last year and the lira dived against the dollar. Although the recession ended in the first quarter of 2019, many economists are predicting a return to negative economic growth in the second quarter, pointing to data such as consumer confidence figures and industrial output.

Sales of cars and vans had fallen by an annual 56 percent in April, 36 percent in March, 47 percent in February and by 59 percent in January, according to ODD data.

The Turkish government has sought to revive the industry by cutting sales taxes and offering bigger tax breaks for consumers who trade in their vehicles for new models.