Volkswagen is postponing its decision to build a factory in Turkey. Due to international criticism of Ankara’s military operations in Syria, as well as concerns about a possible impact on the company’s reputation. The factory will also manufacture Skoda automobiles.
“We are closely monitoring the situation and are concerned about current developments,” a VW spokesperson said.
At the beginning of the month, Volkswagen officially established a subsidiary in Turkey, in the western province of Manisa. At the same time, the company said it was in the final stage of negotiations on the construction of the factory, but the final decision has not yet been made.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Sunday that she told Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan that she had to stop the attack. Otherwise, she is in danger of a humanitarian crisis.
EU members agreed on Monday to restrict arms exports to Turkey while US President Donald Trump has imposed sanctions on Turkey.
The construction of the new plant has been under discussion since last November when Volkswagen introduced a new five-year plan for the production of electric cars. Skoda Auto’s chairman Bernhard Maier said in September at the Frankfurt Motor Show that the final decision on the new European plant would be made by the end of the year and that the group still selects from two countries. According to sources, these countries were to be Turkey and Bulgaria.
The new plant would produce 300,000 cars per year for export to Eastern Europe. The cost of the factory is estimated at more than one billion euros (25.7 billion crowns). And it will employ 4,000 people. Construction could start at the end of 2019, and production by 2022.