Ford Invests $170M in South Africa SUV Production
The Ford Everest. Photo: Ford Motor Company
The Ford Motor Company is investing R2.5-billion (US$170 million) to expand operations in South Africa at its Silverton Assembly Plant in Pretoria, South Africa, to produce the all-new Ford Everest, along with the new Ford Ranger that was launched at the end of last year.
This investment will create approximately 1,200 new jobs at Ford South Africa and within the South African supplier network, according to the automaker.
The Silverton facility joins AutoAlliance Thailand in Rayong; Ford’s Chennai plant in India (where it is sold as the Endeavor) and the JMC Xiaolan Plant in Nanchang, China, as production hubs for the Everest. Initial production at Silverton of the Everest will commence in the third quarter of 2016, with the first units expected to come to market in the fourth quarter. South African-produced models will be sold locally and exported to markets across Sub-Saharan Africa, according to Ford.
Part of this investment has been directed towards the production of the new Ranger, which is already running at maximum capacity at the Silverton Assembly Plant – with domestic sales and export demand at an all-time high, according to the automaker.
The Silverton Assembly Plant features state-of-the-art automation utilizing Ford's global manufacturing processes, and will be equipped to produce 10,000 Everests annually.
Currently, the all-new Everest is imported from Thailand, using the locally produced 3.2Lfive-cylinder Duratorq TDCi engine. It is only available in South Africa in 3.2 Automatic guise in two specification levels – XLT and the range-topping Limited. With the commencement of local production, a 2.2L Duratorq TDCi four-cylinder diesel engine will be added to the range, along with a wider spread of specification levels, according to Ford.
Built at Ford’s Struandale Engine Plant in Port Elizabeth, the latest-generation Duratorq TDCi diesel engines – which are also used in the new Ranger – offer maximum fuel economy along with exceptional performance.
The all-new Ford Everest is a seven-seat SUV featuring body-on-frame construction, intelligent four-wheel drive, and an Advanced Terrain Management System to help navigate challenging terrain with ease, according to the automaker.