Ford, LG Energy Solution (LGES), and Koc Holding's joint venture EV battery cell factory near Ankara, Turkey will not materialize due to market uncertainty.
Ford's long-term partner, Turkey's Koc Holding, announced that it has revoked an earlier agreement to build the battery plant for commercial electric vehicles, which are produced locally.
Let's recall that the non-binding agreement for a 25-gigawatt-hour battery cell plant (with an option for up to 45 GWh in the future) was signed in February 2022, after the previous joint venture agreement between Ford, SK Innovation's SK On, and Koc Holding (from March 2022) was terminated.
According to the Public Disclosure Platform (KAP), via Reuters, Koc Holding said that it is "Considering the current pace of electric vehicle adoption, the timing is not appropriate for a battery cell investment." If the market conditions improve, the parties will evaluate potential battery cell investments in the future.
It's another worrying sign that the EV market will not expand as quickly as manufacturers initially anticipated a few years ago.
Ford has produced the Ford E-Transit model in Turkey (the second manufacturing site after the one in Kansas) since 2022 and soon is expected to start production of an electric version of the next-generation Transit Custom (passenger and commercial version), as well as some ICE and EV vans for the Volkswagen Group.
According to the most recent info, the batteries for the electric vehicles produced in the country will continue to be supplied by LG Energy Solution from its other plants (specifically, from the factory in Poland).