Even though the current political climate in the country is at a boiling point with Parliament in turmoil after the recent constitutional court judgement against the president, it's good to see major investment being made to the country. Yesterday speaking at Ford Motor Company's Assembly plant in Silverton, Pretoria, Ford's executive vice president and president of Europe, Middle East and Africa, Jim Farley announced that company will be expanding operations at the plant with an investment of R2.5 billion!
This investment and expansion will mean an extra 1,200 jobs at Ford SA and within the South African supplier network. The plant will see itself after completion of the expansion produce the all new Ford Ranger and Everest, of which both were launched in the last quarter of 2015. Along with this, the market will also receive a new engine line up for the Everest which includes a 2.2 litre Duratorq TDCi four cylinder diesel engine. "Our customers love the capability and utility offered by the all-new Ford Everest. By producing the Everest in South Africa, we will be able to make it more readily available, and in greater variety of models for customers throughout Sub-Saharan Africa." - Jim Farley.
The plant currently exports the Ford Ranger to 148 countries in Africa, Middle East and Europe, and supplies Argentina, Thailand, North America, India and China with engines and machined equipment. Last year at Ford's Go Further Summit held in Sandton, they pledged their alliance with the continent growth by confirming that they would assemble the new Ranger in Nigeria, using semi knock-down (SKD) kits and components imported from South Africa.
It's great that Ford Motor Company is showing interest in investing in our country, the demand for their product is here and if they can improve service and delivery times of vehicles for the market as well as create jobs while doing that only serves as a massive boost for our economy. Also with the Everest expanding it's engine line-up, gives the consumer more choice in decided their perfect SUV and takes the competition directly to their competitors.