SK On says it is undecided whether to proceed with battery venture with Ford, Koc

SEOUL, Jan 9 (Reuters) – South Korean electric vehicle battery maker SK On said on Monday it has not decided whether to pursue a battery cell venture in Turkey with Ford Motor Co (F.N) and Koc Holding AS (KCHOL.IS), after signing a memorandum of understanding (MoU) in March.

The Dong-A Ilbo daily newspaper earlier reported, citing an unidentified source, that SK On plans to scrap the idea due to a weak macro economic environment.

“After signing the MoU in March 2022, we have been discussing the joint venture case in Turkey, but discussions have not been completed. The final decision whether or not to halt negotiations regarding the joint venture has not been made yet,” SK On said in a statement.

SK On is the wholly owned battery unit of SK Innovation Co Ltd (096770.KS), and counts Hyundai Motor Co (005380.KS), Volkswagen AG (VOWG_p.DE) and Ford Motor among its customers.

In announcing the joint venture plans in March, SK On said the partners aimed for annual production capacity of 30-45 gigawatt hours (GWh) with production starting in 2025.

SK On has battery manufacturing sites in South Korea, China, Hungary and the United States.

Reporting by Heekyong Yang; Editing by Christopher Cushing