24 Mar 21

Leasing industry in Turkey: optimism in spite of 5.6% drop in 2020

According to a report on operational leasing published by leasing and rental association Tokkder, the industry shrank by 5.6% in 2020. A recovery compared to the previous year had been expected, but the global pandemic threw a spanner in the works, said Inan Ekici, president of Tokkder.

At the start of 2020, Tokkder anticipated that the contraction that had began in the second half of 2018 would come to an end and that the industry would return to a path of growth. However, the COVID-19 pandemic affected many industries in Turkey severely, including the car rental sector. At the same time, vehicle availability suffered because of supply constraints.

"The uncertainty brought about by the pandemic caused many companies, particularly SMEs, to delay their long-term car rental demands," said Inan Ekici (pictured, right). A large number of customers looked for contract extensions rather than new vehicle deliveries.

As concerns about hygiene led to a small upsurge in demand for car rental and car sharing – methods of transportation that were preferred by many over public transport – the weight of city rental offices increased. However, this increase was not sufficient to compensate for the over 60% drop in demand at airport rental offices.

“In 2021,” said Mr Ekici, “the course of the pandemic will be decisive. I think that the COVID-19 pandemic will not affect our lives at this level as it is being brought under control thanks to precautions and vaccination practices. Economies will enter a recovery process, economic activity will accelerate and renting a car will be an element of choice due to the advantages it offers in terms of efficiency and hygiene measures. The year 2021 will be a transition year for the car rental sector to compensate for losses and to grow again.”

Mr Ekici is optimistic for the future. “Businesses that prefer to lease instead of purchasing can use their own resources in their main activities, giving them the opportunity to grow their business. I think that with the end of the pandemic and the complete elimination of the epidemic threat, there will be an increase in demand, which has been postponed since 2018, and I believe that we will experience a very rapid return process.”

Turkey is one of the countries that will be analysed in-depth at the 2021 Global Fleet Conference, an online-only event for the fleet & mobility industry on 12 May. Find out more!

Image: Shutterstock

Authored by: Benjamin Uyttebroeck