Ford has decided to make the assembly plant in Silverton, in South Africa, as one of four production hubs globally for the Ford Everest SUV. The decision will see an investment of N$2.5-billion and create 1 200 new jobs‚ the Ford Motor Company said on Tuesday.
The move will make the car “more readily available‚ and in a greater variety of models‚ for customers throughout Sub-Saharan Africa”‚ a statement said.
“The N$2.5-billion investment reaffirms the importance of these markets as part of our growth strategy across the Middle East and Africa‚” Ford executive vice president Jim Farley added.
“It further reinforces South Africa’s position as a strategic export base for Ford Motor Company,” Farley said in the statement.
The automobile manufacturer said the Silverton facility in Pretoria joins AutoAlliance Thailand in Rayong, Ford’s Chennai plant in India where it is sold as the Endeavor and the JMC Xiaolan Plant in Nanchang‚ China‚ as production hubs for the Everest.
Initial production of the Everest locally is expected to “start in the third quarter of 2016‚ with the first units expected to come to market in the fourth quarter”.
“This crucial investment will enable us to increase volumes and expand the Everest range to eight derivatives across a broader price range. It will allow customers across Sub-Saharan Africa to choose from two powerful engines mated to robust six-speed automatic or manual transmissions for exceptional capability‚” Farley said.