PORT ELIZABETH, South Africa – Ford has emerged from a comprehensive investment and production expansion programme sll ready to meet the demands of a growing export market.
An investment of R3-billion, announced in 2017, opened potential for Ford’s Silverton Vehicle Assembly Plant in Pretoria and the Struandale Engine Plant in Port Elizabeth.
The Silverton plant can now produce up to 168 000 Rangers and Everests a year, which is 44 000 more than before the expansion and a 58 000 more than when Ranger production started in 2011.
Ford, since 2009, has invested more than R11-billion in its SA operations and exports Rangers to 148 markets globally. The Everest seven-seater SUV goes sub-Sahara and the SA markets.
Neale Hill, MD of Ford SA, told The Corner in a media release: “Our Ranger programme has been extremely successful. We assembled the 500 000th in August 2018 and global demand for the Ranger continues to grow.
”The R3-billion investment enabled us to prepare for the dynamic period ahead.
“Export-orientated business is crucial for the SA auto industry’s long-term sustainability so we’re delighted with the expansion. It reaffirms our ability to compete with the world’s best plants.”
More than 400 vehicles a day (July 2019) are assembled at Silverton – one every 94 seconds but greater volumes are possible – with 66% for export. The rest are to supply 133 Ford dealers in South Africa, Namibia, Botswana and Swaziland.
Exports are shipped from both Port Elizabeth and Durban.