The Ford Silverton plant in Pretoria has produced its 500,000th Ranger for export since the vehicle’s launch in 2011 while the decade-old model retains a 24 percent average market share in its segment of the market.
In a statement issued by Ford South Africa Vice President, Ockert Berry, he said Ford South Africa has created around 1,200 additional jobs by adding a third shift as part of its $1.05 billion (R15bn) investment in its Silverton assembly plant, which will be operating around the clock to meet export and local sales orders.
He noted that while they are working full steam ahead to realise value from the investments to increase production capacity, the company has also faced logistics challenges on component and parts supply, which was mostly related to the effect of Covid-19 pandemic in different countries, and associated restrictions in those countries.
He said this had resulted in instances of production line stoppages, but their logistics staff had adjusted.
Berry believes when the next-generation Ranger is launched in 2022, the facility will be able to assemble 200 000 vehicles a year, nearly double the 110 000 units it was capable of when production of the pickup began in 2011, and much higher than the 168 000 units capacity prior to the commencement of the latest investment.
As a result of this latest development, Ford South Africa’s local workforce has increased to about 5,000 from the current 4,200 while an additional 420 jobs had been created at the plant’s on-site service provider.
The reintroduction of the third shift will support the assembly of more Ranger pickups and enable production capacity for the next-generation Ranger, starting in 2022.
Key objectives of the $1.05bn investment in the Silverton plant and supplier facilities are to expand production capacity, and to introduce the most advanced technologies and systems to bring them in line with the best in the world.
Two-thirds of the Rangers produced in South Africa are currently exported to more than 100 global markets, including Europe, where it is the top-selling pickup. The balance is sold in South Africa, regularly achieving overall top-three sales.
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