Ford and SK cancel gigafactory plant investment in Turkey
According to the South Korean media, Ford and electric vehicle (EV) battery maker SK On have cancelled plans to build a gigafactory in Turkey amid rising economic concerns.
Auto giant Ford and SK signed a memorandum of understanding with Koç Holding of Turkey in March 2022 to build a lithium-ion battery plant near the capital city of Ankara. Yet, according to the Korea Economic Daily, the plan has been put aside due to rising global interest rates and fading EV demand in Europe.
The gigafactory was promising for all parties; Ford to expand EV reach in Europe, SK to become a bigger global supplier, and Turkey to become a new hot spot for the EV industry. The plant was to begin production in 2025 with an annual capacity of 30-45 GWh.
SK On, the battery production unit of energy group SK Innovation, raised around 2 trillion won (€1.505 bn) last summer to boost plans of going abroad. The gigafactory was to become one of the largest in Europe, but SK On said the decision about the joint venture had not been finalised yet.
Turkey plays a vital role for Ford too, which plans to build a new version of the Transit Custom van in Europe in the country this year, according to AutoNews Europe. The American auto giant has a strong vision of producing 600,000 EVs in Europe by 2026, while SK On wants to reach 500 GWh global capacity by 2030. With the Turkey plant investment in tatters, the goals for both sides in Europe may be in jeopardy.