BYD Auto is expected to announce plans to build a US$1bn electric vehicle (EV) assembly plant in Turkey to target the domestic and European markets, according to local reports citing Turkish government officials.

The announcement – expected later this week – would come just days after the European Union imposed additional duties of up to 38% on battery electric vehicles (BEVs) imported from China, on top of the existing 10% tariff, after an investigation by the European Commission found Chinese manufacturers had unfairly benefited from substantial government incentives for over a decade. BEVs imported by BYD from China would incur additional EU tariffs of just over 17%.

Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan is expected to announce a deal with BYD at a press conference on Monday in Manisa province where the plant was scheduled to be built. The facility was expected to produce electric and hybrid vehicles for Turkey and export to Europe.

BEV sales in Turkey exceeded 72,000 units last year and hybrid sales approached 105,000 units while total vehicle sales in the country amounted to 1.28m units.

The Turkish government last week indicated it was reconsidering plans announced last month to impose an additional 40% import tariff on all vehicles imported from China, with the country looking to prioritise inward investment. President Erdogan met with Chinese President Xi Jinping last week at the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation conference in Astana, Kazakhstan.

Shenzhen-based BYD, China’s largest EV manufacturer, previously revealed plans to bring in low cost BEVs to Europe, including its Seagull passenger car priced at around EUR20,000. The company hopes to bypass EU tariffs by producing vehicles in Turkey which has a customs union with the EU.

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Last week BYD opened a new 150,000 ERV assembly plant in Thailand to target mainly markets in south-east Asia.

It is also building a plant in Hungary.