Volkswagen is looking at Turkey as a possible location for a new vehicle plant that would produce certain ICE-powered models. The company wants to focus its German production lines on electric vehicles instead.
The automaker’s list initially had five potential host countries, but the choices have since been narrowed down to Turkey and Bulgaria, reports Hurriyet Daily News. In the past three months, VW officials have been paying visits and holding talks in the two candidate countries.
However, according to German outlet Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, VW chairman Herbert Diess was in Turkey last week to discuss infrastructure issues for a potential plant that could open in the western province of Manisa. The exec also reportedly held talks with government officials in the country’s capital of Ankara.
Sources say that VW could announce a decision that’s favorable to Turkey within the next two weeks. Once such a plant would become operational, models such as the Seat Ateca and Skoda Karoq could be built there, among others. Word is that a Manisa plant could also feature an annual capacity of 300,000 vehicles, with the previously-mentioned German paper estimating the investment at 2 billion euros ($2.27 billion).
The last time an automotive company invested heavily in Turkey was back in 1997 with Toyota and Honda. In any case, breaking ground in Manisa would be a huge step forward for the Turkish economy, especially if VW begins manufacturing multiple high value models on site.