Ford, Koc, LG Energy Solution sign MoU for EV battery cell production JV in Turkey
Ford, Turkish conglomerate Koc Holding and South Korea’s LG Energy Solution (LGES) have signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding (MoU) to form a joint venture to create one of Europe's largest commercial electric vehicle (EV) battery cell facilities near Ankara, Turkey, LGES has announced in a press release.
The JV will be located in an organised industrial zone in Baskent. The project was on track and was expected to break ground later this year, said LGES. Production is intended to start in 2026 with the three parties committing to at least 25 gigawatt hours (GWh) of annual production capacity, which could potentially expand up to 45 GWh, it added.
"Ford continues to ramp up our electric vehicle plans as we scale to be a leader in the electric vehicle revolution. We are delivering on the commitment to produce batteries in the same region where we build electric vehicles. Establishing the new joint venture with LGES and Koc Holding will lay a solid foundation that is fundamental to building a thriving electric vehicle future for Ford in Europe," said Lisa Drake, vice president, Ford EV Industrialization.
The joint venture is said to build on two longstanding business relationships Ford has with both LGES and Koc Holding. Ford and LGES have worked together for over a decade, with LGES most recently supplying batteries from its plant in Poland for the Ford Mustang Mach-E and E-Transit.
Ford Motor Company and Koc Holding have a relationship that stretches back almost a century. It includes the Ford Otosan joint venture, now over 60 years-old.
"Our long-time business relationship with Ford is the result of our commitment to deliver unmatched product competitiveness, stable yields, and global operational expertise, made possible by our extensive knowledge accumulated through pre-emptive investments in global markets," said Youngsoo Kwon, CEO of LGES. "Now joining forces with Ford and Koc in Turkey, we will bring in our leading battery technology to further boost the EV transition in Europe, thereby leading the global initiatives for a more sustainable future."
In a February 21 press release statement, Koc Holding said: "We deeply feel the pain of the terrible earthquake disaster that occurred on February 6 [in Turkey and Syria]. As Koc Group, we mobilized all our resources for our country. We believe that investments such as this major one will play a crucial role in overcoming this extraordinarily difficult period.
“In this respect, we underline our determination to implement this investment facility with two global companies which will bring our country a significant global competitive advantage in the automotive industry. We express our condolences to our nation and truly believe that we will overcome these difficult times with unity and solidarity."
Drake from Ford added: "As Europe's leading commercial vehicle brand for the past eight years, we want to continue providing our customers with the most efficient and innovative vehicles supporting their business goals through our Ford Pro vehicle services and distribution business. This new battery joint venture is a prime example of how we are leveraging our strategic business relationships to strengthen our business."
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