ISTANBUL (Reuters) -- Turkish vehicle maker Ford Otomotiv posted a non-consolidated net profit of 31.20 million lira ($19.62 million) in the first quarter, down 92 percent from a year earlier.
Analysts had expected first-quarter results to be hit by a sharp contraction in both domestic and export demand as the global economic crisis bites.
The company, a joint venture of local conglomerate Koc Holding and Ford Motor Co., said sales in the first quarter fell 58.5 percent year-on-year to 838.62 million lira.
In a filing posted on the Istanbul Stock Exchange website it said its market share had fallen to 13.4 percent from 15.2 percent, but added it was still the leader of the Turkish automotive market.
"We expect our market share to rise in the coming months with New Transit Connect to enter stage and (we) overcome problems of availability," the company said.
In 2008, the company achieved a net profit of 436.2 million lira, down 10 percent from a year earlier, with sales down 3.1 percent at 7 billion lira.
Like other automotive producers, Otosan has responded to the slowdown by halting production temporarily in the last months, most recently stopping output between April 20-25.
The company said its capacity utilization rate fell below 25 percent in the first quarter due to weak demand and rising stocks, and its total output tumbled 78 percent compared to last year.
Demand picked up sharply from mid-March as a result of a three-month cut in Turkey's special consumption tax.
However, the scheduled end of that incentive in mid-June is expected to trigger a fresh contraction in the market in the remainder of the year.