Turkey tightens import regulations against electric cars from China

According to media reports, Turkey wants to take action against electric car imports from China and is enacting new rules, such as the minimum number of authorised branches in the country. Only manufacturers that fulfil the new criteria will be allowed to continue importing electric cars into Turkey. An almost impossible task.

Image: MG Motor

According to the news agency Bloomberg, companies must operate at least 140 authorised branches and a call centre evenly distributed across the country in order to import e-cars. Importers from the EU and countries that have free trade agreements with Turkey are exempt from this requirement.

In addition, importers only have until the end of this year to comply with the regulations. “These rules are so tough, not a single brand is in compliance as of today,” Erol Sahin, Managing Director of automotive consultancy EBS, told Bloomberg. Especially since manufacturers have to operate these branches themselves. According to a decree issued by the Turkish Ministry of Trade, distribution agreements with dealer groups do not count.

Turkey is the sixth-largest automotive market in Europe and an important market for Chinese manufacturers. Earlier this year, Turkey imposed an additional 40 per cent tariff on EV imports from China, bringing the total tariff to 50 per cent. And yet, according to Bloomberg, in the first ten months of 2023, they had sold a total of 184 million dollars worth of EVs in Turkey – which is already twice as much as in the whole of 2022.

It stands to reason that the decree is primarily aimed at preventing the import of Chinese electric cars and preventing cheap competition for the Turkish electric car manufacturer Togg. The latter recently announced the series production of its second model, an all-electric saloon, for 2025. Three more models are to follow. Togg’s debut model, the T10X SUV, has already been delivered to the domestic market since April 2023.



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