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Ford to invest $1bn to upgrade SA operations

The investments aims to increase Ford’s installed capacity at the SA plant.
Image: Wolfram Schroll/Bloomberg

Ford Motor Co will invest $1.05 billion in its South African manufacturing operations, including upgrades to expand production of its Ranger pickup truck, the US automaker said on Tuesday.

The investments aim to increase Ford’s installed capacity in South Africa from 168 000 to 200 000 vehicles, said Andrea Cavallaro, operations director of Ford’s International Market Group.

“It’s the biggest investment in Ford’s 97-year history in South Africa and one of the largest ever in the local automotive industry,” he told an announcement event.

Ford joins global carmakers including Volkswagen , Toyota and Nissan in ramping up production in Africa, viewed by the industry as a large, untapped market for new car sales.

Around a third of Ford’s local production is sold in South Africa and other sub-Saharan African countries, with the rest exported elsewhere.

Ford’s South African investment includes $683 million for technology upgrades and new facilities at its plant in Silverton, a suburb of the administrative capital Pretoria, and $365 million to upgrade tooling at major supplier factories.

The plant will also manufacture Volkswagen pickup trucks as part of the Ford-VW alliance.

The expanded production will create 1 200 jobs with Ford in South Africa, increasing the local workforce to 5,500 employees, while adding an estimated 10 000 new jobs across the carmaker’s supplier network.

Ford also aims to make the Silverton plant entirely energy self-sufficient and carbon neutral by 2024, Cavallaro said.

South Africa has big ambitions for its automotive sector, putting it at the heart of attempts to revive economic growth and reduce unemployment via industrialisation.

Speaking at Ford’s announcement, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said the company had already helped to bring 12 automotive component suppliers to the country.

“Ford Motor Company is like a beautiful flower and it has attracted all these wonderful bees that keep coming here,” he said.

The government’s plan targets a more than doubling of the industry’s annual production to 1.4 million vehicles by 2035 and raising the proportion of auto components made locally to 60% from 39%, supported by investment and tax incentives.

The goals have been dealt a blow by the Covid-19 pandemic, however, with both local sales and exports down by around 30% last year.

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All round good news. First Toyota and now Ford also.

I don’t see the usual pessimists finding flaws and conspiracy theories.

Sigh, think about all the subsidies you pay for the over-priced vehicles you get. R20bn to R30bn annually from the taxpayers’ pocket I reckon. School me.

Let me be the first to place ‘pessimistic’ comments…with a ‘twist’:

FIAT SA seems to be fast asleep in vehicle sourcing for SA. Look at the juicy vehicles being sold in certain Latin American countries.

Fiat Argo Trekking:

Never seen such a great looking cross-over in a long time (and using the right type of tyres for SA’s broken road surfaces):

https://www.carscoops.com/2019/04/fiat-argo-trekking-pseudo-crossover-launches-in-brazil/

Secondly, how many times South Africans pleaded for more choice of Half-ton bakkies?
We are now only left with the choice of the venerable “Dacia Logan pick-up” (aka Nissan NP200) with its tried & tested Renault engine.

Remember the old Fiat STRADA bakkie? This is how the latest versions look like. You are going to drool! :

https://www.motor1.com/news/408372/fiat-strada-pickup-truck-debut/

It does look good, maybe too good for rough treatment

Like I said before – will take any good news for now!

Found
On
Rubbish
Dump

Foute
Oral
Reperasies
Daagliks

Casper, is it YOU that continuously keep slamming the Ford’s bonnet, causing the original, perfectly ROUND Ford-emblem to flatten to OVAL shape over time?

Remember, a Ford was NOT the 1st to end up on a rubbish dump. It was preceded by a Datsun. You know the story… *lol*

Sies! We are not fair to Ford-fans. Actually today’s Fords are way better than our parents’ generation. Quite good vehicles, especially Ranger sales tell a story.

I drive a “Fix It Again Tony” *lol* (…without any fixing 😉 My other car has no soul: a Korean.

They say a Land Rover driver will never get lost in the bush…as they can simply back-track on its own oil trail…

The difference between a Toyota Land Cruiser versus a Land Rover on an overland trip, is the size of the toolbox with spare parts being carried 😉

Let me NOT start what BMW stands for…we’ll never hear the end.

End of comments.

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