ISTANBUL, Turkey - Ford Motor Co. said it will invest $550 million with its Turkish partner Koc Holding AS over the next five years. This will double Ford's Turkish output to 120,000 units annually, including 26,000 Ford Escort sedans and Transit vans.
'This investment shows Ford believes and trusts in Turkey's future,' said Ford Chairman Alex Trotman.
The investment in Ford Otosan Otomotiv Sanayi AS comes as US and European carmakers look to eastern European markets, as growth at home is sluggish.
Ford expects Turkey's car market to top 850,000 vehicles annually over the next 10 years. It was 339,000 units in 1996.
Ford makes 10,000 Escorts and Transit vans a year in Plonsk, Poland, and 6,000 a year in Belarus. It is also considering investing $150 million in a plant near St. Petersburg, Russia.