Turkey’s automotive industry is trying to woo the U.K. in a bid to secure special trade deals post-Brexit at the end of next January.
Its auto export organization, the Uludağ Automotive Industry Exporters’ Assn. (AIA), sent a trade delegation to lay the groundwork for future cooperation between the two nations’ automotive industries.
The AIA started its Digital Sectoral Trade Delegation program for the U.K. last month, with 20 British companies included among 60 organizations represented during a four-day event. Under the program, trade ideas were exchanged over the Brexit issue as an important factor affecting bilateral trade between the U.K. and Turkey.
Baran Çelik, AIA president, says during the event the automotive industry has been dealt the biggest blow from the pandemic but Turkey’s position in the industry has been strengthened as supply chains were reshaped.
Çelik says: “On a sectoral basis, the automotive industry has been the biggest exporter for the last 14 years. For the last three years, Turkey’s automotive exports have been over $30 billion per annum on average.
“With a production capacity of 2 million units and vehicle production capacity of 1.5 million units, we are the 14th-biggest motor vehicle manufacturer in the world and fourth-biggest manufacturer in Europe. Starting from 2021, our goal will be to achieve our pre-pandemic figures.”
Çelik says the importance of the European Union countries, which account for nearly 80% of Turkey’s exports, cannot be ignored. But he adds: “U.K. is one of our biggest markets here. Our automotive exports to the U.K. had reached $3 billion in 2018. In 2019, it was $2.5 billion.
“In our exports to the U.K., passenger cars and motor vehicles for hauling goods stood out and the exports of our supply industry to the U.K. is above $600 million.”
Çelik says the big concern is over the possibility of customs duties of 10% being imposed on vehicles and 5% on automotive parts as a result of Brexit if a deal to maintain the existing zero tariffs is not reached with the EU.