Ford’s agreement to build battery cells in Turkey has been revoked

Key Points

  • 🔌 An agreement involving Ford, LG Energy Solutions, and Koç Holdings to build a battery cell joint venture in Turkey has been revoked.
  • 🚫 Koç Holdings cited the current pace of electric vehicle adoption as the reason behind revoking the agreement.
  • 🏭 The initial plan was to start production in 2026 with an expected capacity of 25 GWh, expandable to 45 GWh.
  • 💡 Ford currently receives batteries for some of its electric vehicles from LG’s Poland plant.
  • 💰 LG foresees slower revenue growth in 2024 due to economic uncertainty and reduced forecasts for EV sales.

A joint venture featuring Ford, LG Energy Solutions and Turkey conglomerate Koç Holdings was set to build battery cells in the country’s capital city, though new reports show that the agreement has been revoked.

Earlier this year, Ford signed a memo of understanding with the other parties build a battery cell factory in Ankara, Turkey. However, Koç Holdings said on Friday that it revoked the agreement with Ford and LG, citing the “pace of electric vehicle (EV) adoption,” Automotive News Europe reports.

“Considering the current pace of electric vehicle adoption, the timing is not appropriate for a battery cell investment,” Koç Holdings said during a statement to the Public Disclosure Platform.

“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,” the company added.

Production at the Ankara plant was initially expected to begin in 2026, as Ford wrote in a press release earlier this year. Annual production capacity was planned to start at 25 GWh, and the company said it might eventually expand that to 45 GWh.

Ford currently receives Mustang Mach-E and E-Transit batteries from LG’s Poland plant. Last month, LG warned that it expects its revenue growth to slow down in 2024 amidst continued conditions of economic uncertainty and reduced EV sales forecasts from some automakers.

“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,” LG said in a statement.

LG also has battery supply partnerships with other automakers, including Tesla and Toyota, and the company recently announced a shift at its factory in Arizona.

The canceled cell production plans in Turkey follow costly United Auto Workers (UAW) strikes, and after former Ford CEO and current Hertz CEO Mark Fields stated in recent weeks that he thinks the industry is facing the “tough part of mass [EV] adoption.”

It also comes after Ford struggled with batteries earlier this year. In February, Ford announced plans to halt F-150 Lightning production due to a battery issue that caused one unit to catch fire during a quality check.

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