Ford Otosan set to build Turkey’s first ‘Battery Assembly Plant’

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Major step toward electrification in the Turkish automotive industry: 

Soon after announcing Ford Otosan will manufacture E-Transit, the first all-electric version of the world’s most popular commercial van, the company is making a new investment to play a key role in electrification. The company is currently building a Battery Assembly Plant at its Kocaeli facility, the largest commercial vehicle production hub for Ford in Europe.  

Haydar Yenigün, General Manager, Ford Otosan, said, “We are now taking electric vehicle production and investments in our Kocaeli Plants one step further with a ‘Battery Assembly Plant’. As the pioneer of the Turkish automotive industry, Ford Otosan will become Turkey’s first and only integrated electric vehicle manufacturer.”  

Ford Otosan, the pioneer of the Turkish automotive industry, announced that its ‘Battery Assembly Plant’, which will play a key role in electrification of vehicles, will become operational by 2022 in Kocaeli.

“With this investment, our Kocaeli Plants will become Turkey’s first and only integrated automotive manufacturing plant” 

Haydar Yenigün, General Manager, Ford Otosan, noted that Ford Otosan is now moving forward to a new phase in line with Ford’s electrification strategy.

“At Ford Otosan, we have taken important responsibilities in commercial vehicle production in Turkey and advanced to a very important position within the Ford universe with our engineering know-how. We started investing in electric vehicles to lead the change in the automotive industry and began to produce the Transit Custom PHEV, Turkey’s first plug-in hybrid commercial vehicle.

“We have recently been assigned responsibility to manufacture E-Transit, Ford’s first all-electric commercial van, marking an outstanding achievement. We have now begun to work on building our Battery Assembly Plant, designed entirely by Ford Otosan engineers. This is an important step toward making our Kocaeli facility the first and only integrated electric automotive manufacturing plant in Turkey.

“With this important investment, we will go beyond assembly and develop hardware and software tests leveraging our own engineering capabilities. Therefore, this investment will be a gain for both Ford Otosan and also Turkey. I am confident that the production of electric vehicles, including their batteries, will contribute very positively to the national economy across a wide ecosystem as well as to the competitive strength of our industry and local suppliers globally.” 

60 years of investment   

Yenigün added that Ford Otosan has been a pioneer in the Turkish automotive industry for 60 years with countless firsts to its name: “We take great pride in always adding value to Turkey as we continue to make investments regardless of the current conditions and introducing firsts to the automotive industry. In our 60-year journey, we manufactured close to six million vehicles in total and exported our products to markets all around the world.

“With our R&D capabilities, we manufactured Turkey’s first locally made engine and IToY-awarded truck, to name just a couple of our many firsts. We became the largest commercial vehicle production base in Europe. We did and will create employment for thousands of families. As one of the leading companies with the highest investments in Turkey, we invested €2.5 billion only in the last decade.

“As we grew, so did the Turkish automotive ecosystem including the supply industry, reaching global scale. Transits with a made-in-Turkey badge have reached millions of customers around the world and now our electric and local Transits will be on roads in Europe.  As we have shown with our investments in the past, I believe that we will achieve outstanding success with our electric vehicle investment.”

Ford Otosan engineers responsible for critical processes in battery production

Ford E-Transit, the first all-electric commercial van that will be manufactured in Turkey, will deliver up to 350 km range with a 67 kWh, 400 volt lithium -ion battery pack. The new battery assembly plant, where an integrated operation is targeted, will be equipped with the latest technology production solutions while AGV (automated guided vehicle) systems will ensure efficiency.

Next generation riveting and welding technologies will be employed to achieve high quality product output. With a total of 30 robots, including eight on the assembly line and 22 on the casing production line, Ford Otosan will have a highly automated and flexible production plant. The state-of-the-art plant will also make use of collaborative robots to perform visual checks with cameras.

The batteries will undergo rigorous safety testing, including water and airtightness tests in the test laboratories being built by Ford Otosan. During the tests, the battery pack will be checked for charging level, pack and cell heat and software. The new cold metal transfer welding technology will ensure 100% water and airtightness in the battery cases. The process assistance system that will be supported with ‘Light Guide System’ projection and 3D sensors will enable the battery pack to be monitored across all assembly steps. In addition to the assistance system, image processing cameras deployed on the collaborative robots will prevent potential production failures.