Ford's joint battery cell plant in Turkey is scrapped

Ford's joint battery cell plant in Turkey is scrapped

Automotive News Europe — 2023-11-11

Automotive Industry

 Turkey's Koc Holding said it revoked an agreement with Ford Motor and South Korean battery maker LG Energy Solution for a joint venture to produce battery cells for commercial electric vehicles.

The three companies signed a non-binding agreement in February to form a joint venture to create one of Europe's biggest electric vehicle battery cell facilities near Turkey's capital Ankara.

"Considering the current pace of electric vehicle adoption, the timing is not appropriate for a battery cell investment," Koc Holding said in a statement to the Public Disclosure Platform on Friday.

"Ford and Koc Holding will remain committed to support electric vehicle production at Ford Otosan's Kocaeli plant and will evaluate potential battery cell investments in the future in line with the dynamics of the electric vehicle market," it said.

The Ford Otosan joint venture builds Transit vans and is due to start building electric versions next year. It will also produce electric vans for Volkswagen as part of the two automakers' industrial partnership.

LGES supplies batteries from its plant in Poland for the Ford Mustang Mach-E and E-Transit.

LGES said the three companies had mutually agreed to scrap the plan due to the current pace of consumer electrification adoption.

"LG Energy Solution and Ford are working together on a plan to support battery cell production for this EV from LG Energy Solution’s existing operations, extending the companies’ long-standing business relationship," LGES said in a statement.

In October, LGES warned of slowing revenue growth in 2024 due to global economic uncertainties affecting the outlook for EV sales, joining a growing number of automakers and suppliers expressing caution about demand for EVs.

There are concerns of higher financing costs from a rise in interest rates and sputtering growth in major economies such as China and Europe will impact car buyers.

LGES has production sites in the US, South Korea, China, Poland, Indonesia and Canada.