Ford, Toyota models will help boost Turkish car output to record

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New models from Ford, Toyota and Hyundai are expected to help boost Turkish automotive production to a record this year as a recovery in European demand drives up exports.

Auto production in Turkey is expected to grow 11 percent to 1.25 million units from 1.13 million in 2013, the Automotive Manufacturers Association (OSD) said on Sunday.

"I believe the production will break the record this year on rising exports," OSD head Kudret Onen said. "Exports will be at record levels, too, at around 910,000 units."

Turkey's highest automotive production was 1.19 million units in 2011.

Global carmakers, such as Toyota, Ford and Hyundai, have shifted some of their production to Turkey to take advantage of its geographical position as a bridge between Asia and Europe and its relatively cheap labor costs.

Toyota and Ford models helped increase exports, Onen said.

Toyota began producing a new version of its Corolla in Turkey last year, while Ford launched production of the Ford Transit Courier small commercial vehicle and Ford Tourneo Courier entry-level minivan in May.

Hyundai last September started building its i10 minicar for Europe in Turkey instead of India.

Fiat plans to build the replacement for its Bravo subcompact at its Tofas joint venture in Turkey. The car, which will go on sale in 2015, will also replace the Linea in central and eastern Europe, and Turkey.

Automotive sales account for about 14 percent of Turkey's overall exports.

The country exported 828,000 vehicles worth $21.5 billion last year, with European markets accounting for 70 percent of that total.

Automotive News Europe contributed to this report

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