Turkish car sales slump in April after lockdown restored

Sales of cars and light commercial vehicles in Turkey dropped by 36.2 percent month-on-month in April after the government tightened a lockdown eased in March.

Dealers sold 61,488 vehicles in April compared with 96,428 units in March, the Automotive Distributors’ Association (ODD) said in a report on Tuesday.

Turkey’s government eased restrictions on the population in March, including re-opening restaurants to dining. But cases surged to a record in April, forcing it to reverse the measures then tighten them further.

Sales in April were 5.2 percent below the 10-year average for the month, but more than doubled compared with April 2020, when the country was immersed in a first wave of the pandemic and economic activity ground to a halt.

In the first four months of the year, sales of cars and LCVs rose by an annual 72.4 percent to 260,148 units, the ODD said. Sales in January, February and March exceeded the 10-year average for those months due to pent up demand and bank lending.