European automotive market expands in Q1

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The European automotive market grew 0.8 percent year-on-year in the first quarter of 2018, Turkey’s Automotive Distributers' Association said on Thursday.

The number of vehicles sold in the EU 28 and European Free Trade Association (EFTA) countries reached 4.92 million during the first three months, up from 4.88 million in the same period of 2017, the association said in a statement, citing statistics of the European Automobile Manufacturers' Association.

The association said Hungary posted the highest yearly increase in the January-March period — 28.8 percent — followed by Bulgaria with 25.7 percent and Greece with 25.5 percent.

In the three-month period, Turkey became Europe's eighth-biggest automotive market, with 163,358 vehicles sold, up by 2.18 percent year-on-year.

Meanwhile, the European automotive market saw a decline of 4.9 percent in March, compared to the same month of previous year.

2.1 million vehicles were sold in the month, down from 2.2 million in March 2017.

The EU is the main automotive export market for Turkey, where prominent international automakers — including Fiat, Ford, Honda, Hyundai, Renault, and Toyota — have manufacturing operations.

Last year, nearly 80 percent of Turkey's total automotive exports went to EU countries, totaling $22 billion, an annual rise of 17 percent.

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