Turkish car sales growth eases to 38 percent in November

Turkish sales of cars and light commercial vehicles grew by an annual 38 percent in November, according to the Automotive Distributers Association (ODD).

Sales increased to 80,141 units last month, the ODD said in a statement on its website on Wednesday. Sales had jumped by 93 percent to 94,733 units in October and had more than doubled in the previous three months.

The rate of sales growth in November compared with an overall expansion of 72 percent to 668,495 units in the first 11 months of the year.

Sales in Turkey’s car industry are a main barometer of measuring economic activity in the country of 82 million people. The Turkish authorities have reduced taxes on some motor vehicles and pressured banks to reduce interest rates on loans to help stimulate economic activity. But central bank hikes to interest rates in September and November are expected to curb demand for goods and services.

Sales of cars rose by an annual 35 percent in November to 64,357 units, while sales of light commercial vehicles climbed by 52 percent to 15,784 units, the ODD said.

The central bank has increased its benchmark lending rate to 15 percent from 8.25 percent in September to help defend the lira, which has lost about a quarter of its value this year, and to rein in inflation, which stood at 11.9 percent in October.