As Ford aims to go all-electric in terms of its passenger vehicle lineup in Europe by 2030 or sooner, the automaker is leaning on a wide variety of suppliers to secure the materials it needs to make that happen – not just its battery production joint-venture partner SK On. Another Blue Oval joint venture partner – Koc Holding – recently assumed ownership of the Craiova Assembly plant in Romania following the regulatory approval process, and as Ford Authority reported back in March, Ford, Koc, and SK On were planning on forming another joint venture to produce commercial vehicle batteries in Turkey that would help support production of the new E-Transit Custom and E-Tourneo Custom . But even though SK plans on erecting its own production facilities in Europe, it may not build batteries in Turkey after all, according to Reuters.
“After signing the MoU (memorandum of understanding) in March 2022, we have been discussing the joint venture case in Turkey, but discussions have not been completed. The final decision whether or not to halt negotiations regarding the joint venture has not been made yet,” SK On said in a statement.
However, according to the Dong-A Ilbo daily newspaper, SK has reportedly already decided to scrap these plans altogether, largely due to a “weak macro economic environment.”
The proposed commercial vehicle battery plant – which was slated to be built in Ankara – would become one of the largest such facilities in the European wider region if it indeed does come to fruition, manufacturing high Nickel NMC cells for assembly into battery array modules. Production was previously expected to start as early as mid-decade with an annual capacity likely to be in the range of 30 to 45 Gigawatt hours, though it’s unclear if Ford and Koc Holdings will move forward if SK On does indeed back out of the MoU.