There has been a lot of talk about Volkswagen’s decision to pick Turkey as the location for a new multi-brand vehicle assembly plant.
Despite opposition from German labor unions, the carmaker went through with the plan and announced in July that the plant would be built in Manisa, a city on Turkey’s western coast. The facility was scheduled to manufacture the next-generation Passat and Skoda Superb from 2022, with a maximum annual capacity of 300,000 units.
Since then, the Turkish military invaded Syria, prompting even stronger opposition to Volkswagen’s planned investment. VW Group CEO Herbert Diess was thus forced to postpone a final decision until the end of this year.
However, according to a new report from Automobilwoche cited by sister publication Autonews Europe, the decision will not be made until February. More importantly, VW Group is not considering other locations outside Turkey for its new multi-brand factory, said sources familiar with the matter.
In the wake of the VW board’s postponement of the investment amid international criticism of Turkey’s military operations in Syria, countries including Bulgaria, Romania and Serbia were hoping to attract VW’s interest concerning the new plant.
Apparently, that won’t be the case as Volkswagen seems determined to go through with the plan to build the €1.3 billion ($1.4 billion) plant in Manisa, Turkey or not build it at all. If the Turkish plant is canceled, VW could decide to build the next-generation Passat and Skoda Superb in its factory in Bratislava, Slovakia, Automobilwoche sources said in October.
Currently, the Passat is built in Germany at the Emden plant, but from 2022 the facility will switch to building exclusively all-electric vehicles, while the Skoda Superb is now made at the Kvasiny factory in the Czech Republic.