German automaker Volkswagen has once again delayed plans to establish a factor producing its vehicles in Turkey, according to a Reuters report.
The source that spoke to Reuters said that the company needs more time and that the decision as to when to commence construction on the factory may not be made until the middle of the year.
The factory was previously delayed last October amid Turkey's Operation Peace Spring into northeastern Syria, where Turkish armed forces alongside Ankara-backed Syrian rebel squads drove out the Kurdish People's Protection Forces (YPG) from territory it controlled in the region.
Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess said in November of last year that the company is reconsidering its decision to locate in Turkey “from a moral point of view,” adding that they can’t lay the foundation “next to a battlefield.”
“As long as people are being killed, we are not laying the foundation next to a battlefield,” Diess said in an article he penned on LinkedIn, referring to Operation Peace Spring, which was highly criticized by Ankara’s Western allies.
The factory, which is planned to established in the Aegean province of Manisa, is expected to have the capacity to produce 300,000 vehicles a year, creating jobs for 4000 people. The factory was slated to begin construction toward the end of this year and begin production by 2022 and was anticipated to manufacture Volkswagen's Passat and Skoda Superb models.
A significant segment of Turkey's industrial economy comes from manufacturing vehicles for major international auto companies. In October 2 of last year, Volkswagen established a company in Manisa called Volkswagen Turkey Automotive Industry and Commerce with capital to the tune of 943.5 million TL.