Ford to invest $1bn to upgrade SA operations

Ford hopes to make its Silverton plant entirely energy self-sufficient and carbon neutral by 2024.
Ford hopes to make its Silverton plant entirely energy self-sufficient and carbon neutral by 2024.
Image: Supplied

Ford Motor Co will invest $1.05bn (roughly R15.7bn) in its SA manufacturing operations, including upgrades to expand production of its Ranger pickup truck, the US car maker said on Tuesday.

The investments aim to increase Ford's installed capacity in SA 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 SA and one of the largest ever in the local automotive industry,” he told an announcement event.

The amount includes $683m (roughly R10.2m) for technology upgrades and new facilities at its plant in Silverton, a suburb of Pretoria, and $365m (roughly R5.5m) to upgrade tooling at major supplier factories.

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

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


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