- Production capacity up to 168 000 vehicles a year
- New Ranger, new Everest, Ranger Raptor – and Mustang
- Continuing support for wildlife and conservation
PORT ELIZABETH, South Africa – Ford Southern Africa has completed a comprehensive investment and production expansion programme to, the automaker says, ”be ready to meet the demands of a growing, export-driven, business in South Africa”.
An investment of R3-billion opened up potential for Ford’s Silverton plant in Pretoria and the Struandale engine plant in Port Elizabeth.
The Silverton plant can now produce annually as many as 168 000 Rangers and Everests – 44 000 more than before the expansion and a 58 000 more than the original Ranger production capacity achieved when the programme started in 2011.
‘RAPID GROWTH WORLDWIDE’
“From 2009 to 2018,” the automaker reported, “we invested more than R11-billion in our SA operation, proving a commitment to the local market as a global production hub for the Ranger line-up now sold in SA and 148 markets around the world.
”The Everest seven-seater SUV is supplied to markets in sub-Sahara Africa and domestically as the popularity of this segment grows rapidly worldwide.”
Neale Hill, Ford SA’s MD, added: “Our Ranger programme has been extremely successful – we assembled our 500 000th unit in August 2018 year. The global demand for the Ranger continues so the R3-billion additional investment in our local operations has enabled us to prepare for an even more exciting and dynamic period ahead.
“Export-orientated business is crucial for the long-term sustainability of the automotive industry in South Africa… we’re delighted and encouraged by our ongoing expansion. It re-affirms our ability to compete with the best plants in the world.”
LOCAL DEALERS ACROSS SOUTHERN AFRICA
The Silverton plant. The Corner was told, produces more than 400 vehicles a day – that’s a new vehicle every 94 seconds! – of which about two-thirds is for export. The rest are sold through Ford’s 133 dealers across South Africa, Namibia, Botswana and Swaziland.
Ford in April 2019 began exporting about 1000 Rangers a month directly from Port Elizabeth to some European markets – saving on deliveries to Durban’s harbour’s Roll On, Roll Off (Ro-Ro) terminal.
Coming in the opposite direction soon will be the latest Mustang – an updated range with extensive performance, technology, and equipment enhancements and an even sleeker design- and with them will come the limited-edition Mustang Bullitt – ”the most exhilarating and prized iteration to date of this legendary model”.