U.S.’ Ford Motor Company has announced that it will produce electric vehicles in Ford Otosan’s factory in northwestern Turkey, Deutsche Welle Turkish reported on Tuesday.
A joint venture of Turkey’s largest conglomerate Koç Holding and U.S, automotive giant Ford, Ford Otosan will make a 2 billion euro (nearly $2.4 billion) investment to manufacture new-generation commercial vehicles and batteries at its factory in Turkey’s Kocaeli province.
The project marks the largest investment ever made in the Turkish automotive industry, chairman of the board of Koç Holding Ali Koç said.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Tuesday hailed the investment. “Turkey will be the largest production center of electrical commercial vehicles in the future of the automotive industry,” Erdoğan said during the Ford Otosan meeting at the Presidential Complex.
“The next generation of the Transit Custom range, including the fully electric versions, will reinforce Ford’s position as the number 1 commercial vehicle brand in Europe” said the president of Ford in Europe, Stuart Rowley.
“The growth of commercial vehicles and leveraging partnerships such as our joint venture with Ford Otosan are key factors for the future success of Ford of Europe. We are committed to reaching our 6% operating margin target,” Rowley added.
Last year in December, German Volkswagen Group liquidated its unit in Turkey after cancelling plans to establish its first factory in the country.
Volkswagen established the unit in the northwestern industrial region in Manisa in October 2019 with a capital of 943.5 million liras ($ 127 million). It then suspended its production plans due to a Turkish invasion of northern Syria that began the same month. In July, it abandoned the project entirely citing the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
The liquidation of the unit was followed by an announcement by Volkswagen in November in 2020 that it would invest 1 billion euros in a plant in Slovakia.
The Volkswagen investment would have been the first by a German carmaker in Turkey, though Mercedes has a production facility for buses in Istanbul. Fiat, Renault, Hyundai and Honda are among foreign firms producing motor vehicles in the country.