One of the pillars of the South African economy where it accounts for nearly 7% of GDP, the automotive sector, which employs 100,000 people, is at the heart of the country's recovery plan. In 2019, several companies in the sector, including Ford, promised to increase their investments in the country.
Ford Co will invest $ 1.05 billion in South Africa to modernize its facilities to increase vehicle production. This is what Andrea Cavallaro, COO of Ford’s International Market Group, said on Tuesday, February 2, 2021 in a statement.
This investment will be used to improve the capacity of the Silverton assembly plant in eastern Pretoria by increasing the number of vehicles produced from 168,000 to 200,000 per year.
According to the automaker, $ 683 million will go to modernizing technologies and setting up new facilities such as a new body shop with robotic technology, and a more efficient stamping unit in the plant. by Silverton.
These funds will also be used to ensure better quality and more efficiency for the new models of Ranger pickups that will be built. In addition, $ 365 million will be used to reinforce equipment for major suppliers.
The new Ranger pickups will be primarily intended for the domestic market, but will also be exported to nearly 100 markets.
According to Dianne Craig, President of Ford’s International Market Group, “This investment will give our team the tools and facilities necessary to deliver the best Ford Ranger ever produced, in greater numbers and in superior quality.
” To ensure the implementation of this project, Ford plans to start recruiting 1,200 people, bringing the number of its employees in South Africa to 5,500. It should be noted that the creation of these jobs could add to the vision of the South African government, which planned to put the automotive sector at the center of its efforts to revive the economy.
Cyril Ramaphosa also spoke after the announcement of the automotive supplier, recalling that Ford had contributed to the arrival of new partners in the automotive sector.
Remember that this is the largest investment Ford has made in 97 years of working with the Rainbow Nation.
Source Ecofin Agency