By William Boston
BERLIN -- Automotive giant Volkswagen AG has delayed final approval for building a new car plant in Turkey, becoming the first major international company to reconsider an investment in the country following its incursion in northern Syria.
The postponement by Volkswagen, which is planning to build a facility in Turkey with the capacity to assemble around 300,000 cars a year, comes in the wake of Ankara's controversial move into northern Syria to seize territory held by Kurdish forces after the U.S. withdrew troops.
"The board of management has delayed the decision to build the new plant. We are monitoring the current situation closely and are concerned about current developments," Volkswagen said Tuesday.
Over the past two decades, Turkey has become a key manufacturing location for the global auto industry. Major auto makers that build cars and trucks in the country include Toyota Motor Corp., Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV, Ford Motor Co., and Renault SA.
The European Union has called on Turkey to halt its incursion. Germany, a big trading partner with Turkey, has suspended all deliveries of weapons to the country's armed forces.
President Trump has authorized sanctions and raised steel tariffs on Turkey, and threatened further financial penalties if Ankara continues its offensive.
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