Ford to invest more than $1bn in S. African operation

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Ford Motor Co (F) said on Tuesday that it would invest 1.05 billion dollars into its South African manufacturing operations.

It will be biggest investment by the company in the country.

The investment will further modernise and expand manufacturing operations in the country for Ranger pickup truck.

The company said it would hire an additional 1,200 employees to support expanded production, bringing its workforce in South Africa to 5,500.

The investment will also create an estimated 10,000 new jobs across Ford’s local supplier network.

The overall investment includes 686 million dollars for extensive upgrades to the Silverton Assembly Plant, which 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 per cent of South Africa’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

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 will also manufacture Volkswagen pickups trucks as part of the Ford-VW strategic alliance.

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

Ford also will invest 365 million dollars 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. (dpa/NAN)

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