SK-On-Ford-to-build-battery-factory-in-Turkey
A battery factory is under construction in the United States by BlueOval SK, the joint venture between SK On and Ford Motor. Photo courtesy of SK On

European market will be targeted

SK On, one of the world’s leading battery makers, said on March 14 that it would team up with Ford Motor and Koc Holding to build a factory in Turkey.

Toward that end, the three corporations agreed to set up a joint venture and signed a memorandum of understanding.

The new factory, which will roll out high-nickel lithium-ion batteries near Ankara, is expected to have an annual capacity of 30-45 gigawatt hours by 2025.

The three companies did not disclose the amount of investment, though.

Ford is projected to use the batteries to export its commercial vehicles to Europe, the world’s largest market for electric vehicles ahead of the United States.

To expand its EV business, Ford has joined hands with SK On, the 100-percent affiliate of SK Innovation.

Last year, they announced a large-sized plan of investing more than $11 billion to build three battery factories in the United States.

Koc Holding, the largest conglomerate in Turkey, is also a long-time partner of Ford. The company’s business ranges from automobiles to finance.

“Many think that the U.S. is the biggest market for electric cars. In fact, however, Europe is the global leader,” Prof. Kim Pil-soo at Daelim University said.

“And Ford has dominated the European commercial vehicle market. Hence, it has a very good reason to establish a battery factory to churn out EVs bound for Europe.”

He added that another cross-border alliance involving General Motors and LG Energy Solution may come up with a similar decision of building a battery factory in Europe or near the economic bloc.

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The publisher studied Korean history in Seoul and management of business administration in the United Kingdom. He has 20-year experiences in the media business. Kim can be reached at voc200@gmail.com or 82-2-6956-6698.