Ford Motor Co. plans to invest $630 million to improve and expand operations at a plant in Turkey that will, among other things, begin supplying vans to the U.S. market, starting in 2014.
The Ford Otosan joint venture operation, in Kocaeli, Turkey, generates $3 billion in export revenues annually, the company reports, making it one of Turkey’s biggest sources of export revenue.
The 50-year-old joint venture with Turkey’s Koc Holding is one of the oldest in the auto industry and their Kocaeli operation along currently employees 6,150.
The factory’s exports are now shipped to more than 60 countries, and for 2014 it will add the U.S. to that list. Ford currently relies on the domestically-produced E-Series van for both consumer and commercial applications, but it reportedly will use the more fuel-efficient Transit as a replacement for some of those markets.
That is forcing the maker to try to find an alternative product to produce at its plant in Avon Lake, Ohio.