Ford To Invest More Than $1 Bln To Expand South Africa Operations

Ford Motor Co. (F) said Tuesday that it will invest $1.05 billion in its South African manufacturing operations. It will be the biggest investment by the company in the country. The investment will further modernize and expand manufacturing operations in the country for Ranger pickup truck. It will create 1,200 jobs in the country.

The company said it will hire an additional 1,200 employees to support expanded production, bringing its workforce in South Africa to 5,500 employees. The investment also will create an estimated 10,000 new jobs across Ford’s local supplier network.

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.

Ford’s Silverton Assembly Plant is expected to generate revenues exceeding 1.1 percent of South Africa’s gross domestic product.

The annual installed capacity at the Silverton 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. The plant also will manufacture Volkswagen pickups trucks as part of the Ford-VW strategic alliance.

Ford also will build new vehicle modification and training centres – the latter developed to ensure all Ford employees are equipped with the knowledge and skills required to maximize the efficiencies of the enhanced Silverton facilities.

Ford also will invest $365 million to upgrade tooling at the company’s major supplier factories.

Silverton will become one of the first Ford plants globally to achieve “Island Mode” status, becoming entirely energy self-sufficient and carbon neutral by 2024.

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