Ford said to favor LG Over SK for Turkey battery plant

Ford has partnered with LG Energy Solution to build a new battery factory in Turkey, and as the automaker seeks to speed up the transition to clean cars and diversify battery suppliers, Ford terminates its contract with SK On. said a person familiar with the matter.

Ford and LG Energy Solutions are expected to sign a memorandum of understanding in the coming weeks, possibly in late January or early February, two people familiar with the matter said, citing the undisclosed partnership changes. spoke on condition of anonymity.

Ford is working with SK Innovation on other projects, including building two plants in the U.S. and increasing capacity at its Hungarian plant as part of its effort to produce two million electric vehicles annually by the end of 2026. We will continue to work with SK On, our battery unit. .

The Turkish facility will come online in 2025 with a capacity of 30-45 gigawatt hours per year, according to an initial agreement signed last March between Ford, SK On and Turkish conglomerate Koc Holding. It’s a schedule.

Earlier reports said that Ford scrapped plans for the Turkish plant, not changed partners.

A Ford spokesperson said the battery project is progressing well. LG Energy Solutions declined to comment.

Ford CEO Jim Farley has spent $50 billion developing and manufacturing electric vehicles.

Automakers are accelerating EV and battery production, including the first all-new assembly plant in half a century, alongside a new SK battery plant in Tennessee.

SK makes the batteries for Ford’s F-150 Lightning electric pickup, which is built in Michigan, and LG supplies a Mexican automaker with the batteries that power the Mustang Mach-E.

Ford is also considering building a battery plant in the United States jointly with China’s Contemporary Amperex Technology Co.

Building battery plants in the region is central to Ford’s efforts, but is hampered by high energy prices in Europe.

Swedish battery maker Northvolt is reconsidering plans to add a factory in Germany, and Tesla is reportedly delaying efforts to make batteries at a factory outside Berlin.

In an earlier response to Bloomberg News, SK On said it had not yet decided whether to call off talks with Ford about setting up a joint venture in Turkey.

Ford plans to build a new version of its Transit custom van for the European market in Turkey in 2023, which will include an internal combustion engine version, as well as full electric and hybrid variants.

The Turkish battery factory will be located near the Turkish capital, Ankara, and will be one of the largest EV battery facilities in Europe and Turkey.

Reuters contributed to this report

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