15 Nisan 2011 Cuma

Visitors flock to Autoshow 2010 in Istanbul

During the first day of the Autoshow 2010 event in Istanbul, many visitors were attracted to luxury cars and sound systems. DAILY NEWS photo, Hasan ALTINIŞIK

During the first day of the Autoshow 2010 event in Istanbul, many visitors were attracted to luxury cars and sound systems. DAILY NEWS photo, Hasan ALTINIŞIK
Istanbul’s 13th International Autoshow has begun with 200 automobile brands displaying their new models in a 120,000-square-meter area and amid hopes that the event will bring a big boost to the local economy.

“We expect to increase the number of visitors to 1 million this year,” Mustafa Bayraktar, chief of the Automotive Distributors’ Association, or ODD, said at a press conference Thursday.

“We expect Autoshow Istanbul to create an additional business volume of $1 billion this year,” said Ali Bulut, group chairman of CNR Holding, speaking at the opening ceremony.

Talking to journalists, Bayraktar said the exhibition attracted 650,000 visitors from all around the world last year.

Bayraktar said their primary target was to reach families, especially women. “We all know how women’s decisions could be the determining factor for purchasing a family car,” he said, adding that this year’s fair was thus focused on women so as to increase the number of female visitors, which currently stands at just 10 percent.

“In Turkey, women are the ones making the decisions for the family on homes and cars and in general, decisions on personal economics,” said businesswoman Canan Mataracı while observing the brand-new Ferraris at the exhibition.

Bayraktar said growth in the automotive industry after the crisis had exceeded expectations, but it still lagged behind other emerging economies such as China, India and Russia.

“Turkey has recorded 11-percent growth by selling 465,178 cars in the first nine months of this year. But in the same period, growth was 24 percent in Russia, 25 percent in China and 30 percent in India.”

Bayraktar said Turkey had a long way to go to reach a level of saturation in the car market. “In the European Union, the average number of cars per thousand people is 470, while it is only 92 in Turkey.”

Complaining of high taxes

Speaking to the Hürriyet Daily News & Economic Review, Bayraktar said direct and indirect taxes on vehicles had turned into a heavy burden for manufacturers, distributors and customers. “Turkey ranks second in the world for the highest taxes on the automotive industry after Denmark. Considering the purchasing power difference, I could easily say that Turkey is, in essence, number one.”

Requesting tax cuts, Bayraktar said Turkey could increase car sales by 1 million units per year in this way, which would eventually bring greater tax income for the state.

The Autoshow, which will continue at the CNR Expo Center until Nov. 7, includes companies such as Porsche, Ferrari, Maserati, Bentley, Citroen, Subaru, Infiniti, BMW, Land Rover, Aston Martin, Mini, Rolls Royce, Chevrolet, Kia, Lambroghini and many others.

During the first day of the event, sound systems for luxury automobiles attracted many visitors.

At the same time, Danish brand Bang & Olufsen displayed some of its home electronics products at the Aston Martin stand, including the Beovision 5-103, the world’s widest movable screen at 103 inches. The screen was on sale for 150,000 euros and is aimed at customers searching for the highest quality in sound and vision.
Ömer Alp Yaman, the marketing manager of Bang & Olufsen, said the company had been in the Turkish market for nearly 12 years.

“Turkey ranks third in terms of growth rate after Russia and Singapore,” he told the Daily News.
The company produces sound systems for Aston Martin, Audi and Mercedes AMG, as well as top hotels. “The growth in the top quality hospitality business in Turkey has increased demand for high-quality sound and vision systems.”

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