The coronavirus epidemic that occurred in Wuhan, China and spread all over the world, affected many sectors. The coronavirus emerging in China and spreading rapidly to other countries continues to show its effects in many sectors. Of course, we cannot go without mentioning the negative effect of the virus on the world markets under the effects of globalization. Because China was a major market, it was the main supplier country of the global automotive industry. The ability to carry out the supply chain of the automotive and spare parts industry without breaking is strictly dependent on the smooth execution of logistics activities. Both the exports and imports of the sector are realized by using different modes of transport according to the need. At this point, the import of imported vehicles, handling in ports, shipping to customs parking areas, customs clearance operations, spare parts shipments, transportation of mounting materials and loading onto ships etc. All of its activities are included in automotive logistics.
Automobile manufacturers, which stopped production from China, where the virus started to spread, caused the manufacturers to hit their factories as the virus started to spread in Europe. In addition, many producers in the USA had to stop their production during this period. Finally, many automotive companies to prevent the spread of the virus both in Turkey interrupted their production in order to protect the health of both employees. The automotive sector, which exports more than 80 percent of its exports to the EU countries, started to experience serious disruptions and losses. Likewise, there are serious decreases in automotive spare parts sales. While quarantine production was interrupted in the main industry, the sub-industry also stopped. Turkey in the January-March period compared to the same period the previous year decreased six percent of the total production amounted to 341 thousand 136 pieces. Exports were 14 thousand 276 units, with a 348 percent decrease in quantity compared to the previous year. These declines, of course, also had an impact on automotive logistics and caused a serious loss of business potential.
Difficulties in the production of products supplied from Europe brought along with difficulties in the supply of products supplied from Europe due to the order cancellations due to the sharp contraction in the EU market, border crossings and interruptions and slowdowns in ports. As a result of the researches, 2020 automobile production is expected to decrease significantly. According to the information given in the last two months of the year, showing an increase of 90 percent compared to last year's car and light commercial vehicle market in Turkey increased by the end of March when there was a decline of up to 40 percent. In Europe, it is stated that sales and production decreased in the 70-90 percent band compared to the previous year. Even though this negative impact is expected to be felt in the second quarter of the year, the sales in China have recovered relatively in March, which gives hope to the sector. The fact that China started to provide cash assistance to auto buyers to revive sales in its domestic market, the world's largest car market, is considered as an important step for this market to stand on its own feet.
In addition, problems continue in the dynamics of the logistics industry. Road traffic has decreased and drivers returning from risky countries are also quarantined at border gates. Shipowners resumed some of their voyages by less ports and canceled their other voyages due to the decreasing container demands worldwide. When our imports from the Far East ceased, the return of the empty container to our country started to be late. There is an increasing demand in railway transportation, but due to the lack of infrastructure and capacity, the desired efficiency cannot be obtained. The majority of the freight has slipped into the airline due to disruptions on the road and seaway. Due to this intensity, air cargo agencies have activated cargo planes even though their costs are much higher and they are trying to meet the increasing demand.