Ford is investing $1.05 billion in its South African manufacturing operations, designed to modernize its operations in the country and support expanded production of the all-new Ranger pickup truck, according to Ford.
“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 Dianne Craig, president, Ford’s International Markets Group.
Ford announced the investment at a media briefing attended by South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, as well as several key government leaders, the automaker said. This investment accounts for the automaker’s largest investment in its 97-year history in South Africa.
The annual installed capacity at Ford’s Silverton Assembly Plant will increase to 200,000 vehicles from 168,000, supporting production of the all-new Ford Ranger pickup truck for the domestic market and export to over 100 global markets, Ford said. The plant also will manufacture Volkswagen pickups trucks as part of the Ford-VW strategic alliance.
The expanded production will help create 1,200 incremental Ford jobs in South Africa, increasing the local workforce to 5,500 employees, and adding an estimated 10,000 new jobs across Ford’s local supplier network, bringing the total to 60,000.
The overall investment includes $686 million for extensive upgrades to the Silverton Assembly Plant that will increase production volume and drive significant improvements in production efficiency and vehicle quality.
“The extensive upgrades and new state-of-the-art manufacturing technologies will drive efficiencies across our entire South Africa operation – from sequenced delivery of parts direct to the assembly line, to increased vehicle production line speeds and precision of assembly to ensure the world-class quality that our customers expect,” said Andrea Cavallaro, director of Operations, Ford’s International Markets Group.
Ford also will invest $365 million to upgrade tooling at the company’s major supplier factories.