In a press statement released earlier, Ford Motor Company plans to invest $1.05 billion in its South African manufacturing operations, including upgrades to expand production of its Ranger pickup truck, marking the biggest investment in Ford’s 97-year history in South Africa.
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 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. This investment also aims 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.
With such a major upgrade, Ford joins global carmakers; Volkswagen, Toyota and Nissan in ramping up production in Africa, viewed by the industry as a large, untapped market for new car sales.
The plant will also reportedly manufacture Volkswagen pickup trucks as part of the Ford-VW alliance.