Turkey's automotive industry welcomes extension of tax cuts
Automakers have welcomed a recent government decision to extend previously introduced tax cuts on automobiles until the end of March, hailing it as a boost to sales in the domestic market.
In a tweet posted on Dec. 31, Treasury and Finance Minister Berat Albayrak announced the decision. “The reductions on the value-added-tax [VAT] and special consumption tax [SCT] we had introduced as part of our efforts to fight inflation and support employment and rebalancing in the economy will remain in effect for another three months in 2019,” Albayrak said on Twitter.
The tax cuts were supposed to expire as of Dec. 31.
For motor vehicles with engines under 1600cc, special consumption tax rates had been lowered 15 percent while all VAT rates for commercial vehicles had been cut to 1 percent from 18 percent.
“The decision to extend the tax cuts will help the automotive industry, which is one of the engines of the local economy, retain its competitiveness and an important move to support the industry,” the chair of the Automotive Distributors’ Association (ODD), Ali Bilaloğlu, said in a statement.
“The higher interest and foreign exchange rates coupled with volatility in the markets in 2018 reduced the predictability in the auto industry while discouraging consumers from buying vehicles,” he added.
“It is very important to develop policies that help the auto industry increase its sales once again to 1 million units,” Bilaloğlu said.
According to the latest data provided by the ODD, combined sales of passenger cars and light commercial vehicles (LCV) declined by 42.3 percent from a year ago to 46,204 units in November.
The auto market contracted by 33.8 percent in the first 11 months of the year as a total of 543, 231 units of passenger cars and LCVs were sold.
“The extension of the tax cuts will serve as an incentive for those who want to buy vehicles,” said Murat Şahsuvaroğlu, the board chair of the Authorized Automotive Dealers Association (OYDER).
“The initially announced tax reductions greatly helped the industry and all players in the industry had demanded the extension of the cuts,” he added.
Berk Çağdaş, the general manager of carmaker Renault Mais, welcomed the move as a significant support both for consumers and auto companies.
“The tax reductions were initially announced in a timely fashion for the November-December period last year and kept the industry going,” Çağdaş said.