Ford Motor Company has announced an investment of US$1.05 billion (R15.8 billion rand) to expand its manufacturing operations in South Africa.
Ford International Market Group President Dianne Craig said that this investment will increase the annual production capacity of the Silverton plant from 168,000 to 200,000.
Craig said the production of the new Ford Ranger pickup truck is for domestic export markets in 100 markets around the world, adding that as part of the Ford-Volkswagen strategic alliance, the plant will produce Volkswagen pickup trucks.
“This investment will further modernize our South African operations, helping them to play an even more important role in the turnaround and growth of our global automotive operations.
Our strategic alliance with Volkswagen. Ranger is one of our highest volume, most successful global vehicles. This investment will equip our team with the tools and facilities to deliver the best Ford Ranger ever, in higher numbers and with superior quality,” said Craig
President Cyril Ramaphosa, including Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition, Ebrahim Patel, Minister of Public Enterprise, Pravin Gordhan, Gauteng Premier, David Makhura, Tshwane City Executive Mayor Randall Williams and senior Ford executives attended the investment announcement.
Craig said the expanded production will help create 1,200 local jobs, and increase 5,500 employees. adding an estimated 10,000 new jobs to Ford’s local supplier network, bringing the total to 60,000 employment.
“The total investment includes US$686 million (R10.3 billion) for the large-scale upgrade of the Silverton assembly plant, which will increase production and significantly improve production efficiency and vehicle quality,” Craig said.
“Ford’s investment in our South Africa manufacturing operations underscores our ongoing commitment to deliver ever-better vehicles to our customers in South Africa and around the world, while providing opportunities for our own employees, new team members and our communities,” said Neale Hill, managing director, Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa.