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Ford Investing $1.05 Billion in South African Operations

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Ford Silverton Assembly Plant under construction | Ford investing $1.05B in South African manufacturing
Ford investing in Silverton Assembly Plant expansion, upgrades
Photo: Ford

Ford Motor Company on Tuesday announced that it’s investing $1.05 billion (15.8 billion rand) in South African manufacturing. This is the automaker’s largest single investment over its 97-year history in the region.

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Ford’s investment will help the Silverton Assembly Plant produce of the all-new Ford Ranger and Volkswagen trucks built as part of the two brands’ global alliance. This creates 1,200 incremental jobs in South Africa as well as an estimated 10,000 new jobs across the Ford supplier network. Silverton currently employs 4,310 people.

“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, as well as our strategic alliance with Volkswagen,” said Dianne Craig, president, Ford’s International Markets Group. “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.”

Silverton’s current annual output will also increase from 168,000 vehicles per year to 200,000. It’s estimated that the investment will allow the plant to create revenue at or above 1.1 percent of South Africa’s gross domestic product.

Investment adds new facilities, bolsters suppliers

The investment earmarks $686 million (10.3 billion rand) for upgrades to Ford’s Silverton Assembly Plant in Pretoria. Pretoria will add a modern body shop and stamping plant, both of which will emphasize streamlined processes and more automation. The investment will also support upgrades to Silverton’s box line, paint shop, and final assembly.

Ford of Southern Africa will also build new vehicle modification and training facilities. A portion of the investment will be used to support Ford’s Project Blue Oval, putting Silverton Assembly Plant on a path to running on 100 percent locally sourced renewable energy. The plant is building solar carports that will help make the entire plant self-sustaining and carbon neutral by 2024.

In addition, $365 million (5.5 billion rand) goes to supplier factories to ensure they’re ready to go when production of the new Ranger launches in 2022.

More on the Ranger: New Ranger wins 2020 J.D. Power Initial Quality Study award