Tesla’s sales in Türkiye rebounded in June, industry data showed on Tuesday, fueled by a model Elon Musk’s carmaker announced specially for the country, outpacing the nation’s homegrown vehicle for the first time this year.

The world’s most valuable automaker sold some 2,670 units of Model Y RWD sport-utility vehicles, which it modified for Türkiye to circumvent high taxation on cars with more than 160-kilowatt power.

That figure compared to just 412 units Tesla had sold in the first five months, including only 10 units in May, according to data from the Automotive Distributors and Mobility Association (ODMD).

Türkiye’s first homegrown EV maker, Togg, sold about 1,733 units of its T10X SUV last month.

Togg still sits far at the top, given that it sold 13,021 vehicles from January through June this year, accounting for more than 36% of all EV sales in the country.

BMW is the closest follower with 3,808 units, while Tesla ranks third with 3,082.

In an effort to boost sales, Tesla this April unveiled a Model Y variant equipped with a single motor and a power output not exceeding 160 kW. This variant falls into the 10% special consumption tax (ÖTV) bracket, making it the carmaker’s most affordable option.

Depending on the motor power and car price, special consumption tax for electric vehicles in Türkiye can vary from 10% to as high as 60%.

An EV with less than 160 kW power is eligible for the 10% and 40% brackets. Above 160 kW, the tax is either 50% or 60%.

The RWD’s price is around TL 1.8 million ($55,000), almost half that of Tesla’s LR AWD model.

The price of Togg varies from as low as TL 1.43 million to as high as TL 1.83 million, depending on the range and power.

Overall auto sales fall

Overall sales of passenger cars and light commercial vehicles in Türkiye decreased 5.3% year-over-year in June to 106,238 units, the association said, marking the third consecutive fall.

In June, passenger car sales were down 3.6% to 87,858 vehicles, and light commercial vehicle sales dropped 12.6% to 18,380 units.

In the January-June period, sales of passenger cars and light commercial vehicles increased 3.7% year-over-year to 577,981 units, the association also said.

Sales of electric vehicles reached 8,032 units last month, taking a 9.1% share in total auto sales and up 143.2% compared to 3,302 EVs that exchanged hands a year ago.

In the first half of the year, EV sales jumped by more than 223% to 35,636 units, the ODMD said.

Also fueled by the entry of several Chinese carmakers, including BYD, electric vehicle sales in Türkiye increased ninefold last year, making the market bigger than Italy and Spain’s.

Sales hit a record of 65,562 units in 2023, constituting 6.8% of the total auto market.

Togg topped the list and delivered 19,583 of these, while Tesla, entering the market in April, achieved approximately 12,150 sales. BYD, which started operations in Türkiye in November, delivered 839 units.

Stiff competition

Separate data on Tuesday showed Tesla delivered 443,956 vehicles during the April-June quarter, a 4.8% decline from last year but better than expected.

It marks the first time the U.S. firm posted two straight quarters of decline, as it deals with stiff competition in China and slow demand due to a lack of affordable new models.

Tesla has hit a speed bump after years of rapid growth that helped make it the world’s most valuable automaker. It warned in January that delivery growth in 2024 would be “notably lower” as a boost from months-long price cuts wanes.

The EV maker has cut output of its best-selling Model Y electric car by a double-digit percentage number at its Shanghai plant since March to address weakening demand for its aged models in China, its second-largest market after the United States.

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