Mercedes-Benz Turk AS, the Turkish unit of Daimler AG, expects stronger car and commercial vehicle sales this year although the Turkish market is forecast to stagnate.
According to Wolf-Dieter Kurz, Mercedes-Benz Turk’s chief executive, the unit plans to invest about €40 million ($53 million) at its factories in Istanbul and Aksaray this year, roughly the same as last year. The company makes buses and trucks at the two plants and sells imported Daimler cars and vans in Turkey. Mercedes-Benz sold a record 39,852 new vehicles in the country in 2012, including 12,730 cars, up from 38,291 the year before.
“We will introduce new sedan and commercial models in Turkey this year and therefore we expect a stronger market for us,” Kurz was quoted as saying by Bloomberg. He added that exports from Turkey, where more than two-thirds of vehicles produced are sold abroad, will have a “more challenging year” because of the debt crisis in Europe. Kurz also said Daimler doesn’t plan to make cars and vans in Turkey.
Turkey produced 1.07 million vehicles last year, 10 percent less than in 2011, according to the country’s Automotive Manufacturers’ Association. Production fell as a consequence of declining demand in Europe and a tax increase on some cars.