Ford, SK said to cancel Turkey battery joint venture plan

Ford and SK Innovation’s battery division have canceled plans to build an electric vehicle battery plant in Turkey amid rising global interest rates and weak demand for EVs in Europe. Korea Economic Daily report.

The two companies recently withdrew from an original agreement signed in March 2022, the paper said on Monday, citing unidentified sources.

The plant, which is expected to begin operations as early as 2025 and has an annual capacity of 30 to 45 gigawatt hours, was part of Ford’s push to produce 2 million electric vehicles annually by 2026.

South Korean electric vehicle battery maker SK On said it had not yet decided whether to pursue a battery cell venture.

“We have been discussing a joint venture case in Turkey after signing the memorandum in March 2022, but the discussions are not complete. A final decision on whether to suspend negotiations on the joint venture has yet to be made,” SK On said. It has not been issued,” he said in a statement Monday.

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 plant was to produce high-nickel NMC cells for assembly into battery array modules. It was to be located near the Turkish capital, Ankara, and was to be one of the largest EV battery facilities in Europe and Turkey.

SK On is a wholly owned battery unit of SK Innovation, whose customers include Hyundai, Volkswagen and Ford.

SK On has battery manufacturing bases in South Korea, China, Hungary and the United States.

Reuters and Bloomberg contributed to this report

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