6 months, 6K kilometers: Türkiye caps car sales to curb prices

Türkiye is preparing to unveil a new regulation that will be aimed at reining in the surge in prices of new cars, the country’s trade minister announced. Prices of vehicles in Türkiye have been soaring due to persistent supply shortages of components, supply shortfall coupled with strong demand, and the depreciation in the Turkish lira, which makes imports more expensive.

Companies, car showrooms and car rental companies will now have to keep the cars they acquire for six months and cover at least 6,000 kilometers before being allowed to sell them, Trade Minister Mehmet Muş told the third Türkiye Export Mobilization summit.

Inflation, high loan rates, supply chain bottlenecks and an ongoing chip shortage are just a few of the problems that have been plaguing the auto industry.

Both consumers and the government have blamed car sellers for price gouging. The government ramped its audits to curb the prices and make vehicles more reachable.

“After the first registration, companies, dealerships, car rental companies will not be able to sell the new vehicles they bought for six months and 6,000 kilometers (3728 miles),” Muş said. The minister said the country’s competition watchdog was engaged in more detailed inspections, looking at whether there has been market manipulation or common price setting among companies.

Sales of passenger cars and light commercial vehicles in Türkiye jumped 9.1% year-over-year in July to 52,206 units, according to the data from the Automotive Distributors Association (ODD). The January-July sales were down by 7.3% to 410,110 vehicles, the data showed.

Sales fell 4.6% year-on-year in 2021 to 737,359 vehicles, according to the ODD. It followed a 61.3% year-over-year increase in 2020 to 772,788 units, despite the fallout of the coronavirus pandemic.