Breaking News | Ford Invests a record-breaking amount of money to streamline productivity and provide more jobs locally

Ford Invests a record-breaking amount of money to streamline productivity and provide more jobs locally

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Ford Motor Company is making history in South Africa by investing R15.8 billion in manufacturing operations. This is one of the biggest investments in motoring South Africa and it is also beneficial for the American brand as it enhances their productivity and it creates new job opportunities locally.

Dianne Craig, president, Ford’s International Markets Group said that this investment will further modernize our South African operations, helping them to play an even more important role in the turnaround and growth of our global automotive operations, as well as our strategic alliance with Volkswagen.

She also added that the Ranger is one of their highest volume, most successful global vehicles. This investment will equip their team with the tools and facilities to deliver the best Ford Ranger ever, in higher numbers and with superior quality.

Ford’s Silverton Assembly Plant’s new increase is anticipated to produce incomes of more than 1.1 percent of our country’s gross domestic product. This means that the plant will be able to produce 32 000 more vehicles per year that are not only used locally but are also exported. The Americans have collaborated with the Germans on this and this is why Volkswagen will also manufacture their pickup trucks from this plant.

The plant will be upgraded for increased productivity and improved vehicle quality. A new body shop will be implemented with the newest technology like high-tech stamping with a high-speed production line for the new Ranger. Furthermore, a blue light scanner will scan surfaces to seek out flaws and guarantee quality.

This expansion means that a total of 60 000 people have been employed by the company. There will also be additional operations such as modification centres and training areas for employees to develop their knowledge and skills.

Andrea Cavallaro, director of Operations, Ford’s International Markets Group stated that the extensive upgrades and new state-of-the-art manufacturing technologies will drive efficiencies across the entire South African operation – from sequenced delivery of parts direct to the assembly line, to increased vehicle production line speeds and precision of assembly to ensure the world-class quality that customers expect.

The innovative Project Blue Oval renewable energy project will also see enhancement. This project’s first phase is in progress to manufacture 4 200 solar carports.

“Our aim is to achieve ‘Island Mode’, taking the Silverton Assembly Plant completely off the grid, becoming entirely energy self-sufficient and carbon neutral by 2024,” Cavallaro said. “It will be one of the very first Ford plants anywhere in the world to achieve this status.”

Tooling is another facet to be improved at major supplier factories and according to Cavallaro, supporting their suppliers with this new tooling will ensure that they modernize together to deliver world-class quality for the all-new Ranger at higher volumes for domestic and import customers.

 “As part of our extensive investment in the Silverton plant, we also are building a new Ford-owned and operated chassis line in the Tshwane Automotive Special Economic Zone (TASEZ) for this new vehicle programme,” said Ockert Berry, vice president, Operations, for Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa.

“Having this new line and our major component suppliers located adjacent to the Silverton plant in the TASEZ is key to expanding our production capacity, as parts will be sequenced directly onto the assembly line,” Berry added. “This will significantly reduce logistics costs and complexity, improve efficiency and allow us to build more Rangers for our customers.”

Ford is also working hand in hand with three governing facets and applicable state-owned entities like Transnet, in evolving the Gauteng Province – Eastern Cape Province High Capacity Rail Freight Corridor. The objective of this is to link the Silverton Assembly Plant and the TASEZ with Port Elizabeth to integrate all of the company’s arrivals and departures solely through PE for better productivity and more job opportunities.

 “Ford’s investment in our South Africa manufacturing operations underscores our ongoing commitment to deliver ever-better vehicles to our customers in South Africa and around the world, while providing opportunities for our own employees, new team members and our communities,” said Neale Hill, managing director, Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa.

 

 

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