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Volkswagen’s investment plan for Turkey fuels controversy

Desperate to attract foreign investment, Ankara has offered lucrative incentives for Volkswagen to build a major plant in Turkey that will use outdated and polluting technology.
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German automotive giant Volkswagen — still reeling from an emissions fraud scandal that has earned it hefty penalties and a mammoth class action lawsuit — is gearing up for a major investment in Turkey, eager to continue profiting from technology that it can no longer easily use in the West. The investment plan, which is in the final stage of talks with the Turkish government, has already sparked controversy, including political objections over Ankara’s deteriorating democratic record.

As a first step, Volkswagen established a subsidiary in the western Turkish province of Manisa. The details of the prospective plant, including its production capacity, number of employees and export plans as well as the incentives that Ankara has offered will take a bit more time to clear up, but the fact that the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government is eager to welcome a company mired in gross environmental breaches has already fueled misgivings.

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