Due to factors like the hike in the special consumption tax in 2011, the rise in car prices, and the increase in interest rates, car sales see a sharp drop in January

Automobile and light commercial vehicle sales in Turkey for January fell 34.2 percent compared to a year earlier, according to the Automotive Distributors Foundation (ODD).

The total number of automobiles and light commercial vehicles sold in January was 29,545, down from 44,892 in January 2011. The fall began in the third quarter of 2011. In the last quarter of 2011, the market for automobiles and light consumer vehicles dropped by

11.75 percent, reaching 34.2 percent by January 2012.

Due to the hike in the special consumption tax last October, 91 percent of the vehicles sold in January had motors under 1600ccs, which is a rise from 89 percent in January 2011. Car manufacturers sold 19,100 vehicles with motors under 1600ccs. Eight percent of consumers bought cars with motors between 1600 and 2000ccs while only 1 percent bought cars with motors greater than 2000ccs.

Sales of diesel motor cars also witnessed a sharp, 34 percent drop from a year earlier. Of the 21,077 vehicles sold in January, only 12,140 had diesel motors.

Consumers in January showed an 85 percent preference for A-, B- and C-class cars with relatively lower tax rates. Some 53 percent of consumers chose to purchase C-class automobiles, followed by the B class at 32 percent. Additionally, sedans were the most desired model.

The reasons cited for the sharp drop in sales were the hike in the special consumption tax, the rise in vehicle prices, the increase in interest rates and the already high sales figures for January 2011, according to Anatolia news agency.

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