The second largest US automaker – Ford – has decided to axe its deal for components with South African forging company SKF, as new strikes have again hit the car parts producers.
The South African company could lose 250 jobs because of the move, said an union. Recently, automakers involved in local production of cars in South Africa – the continent’s largest economy – managed to resume normal production schedules after in September a four-week strike ended. The 220,000 metal-worker strong industrial action impacted assembly facilities of carmakers such as Toyota, General Motors and Ford. Due to the increasingly frequent worker actions, last month Ford’s regional boss said the US automaker is now hesitant to move forward with forecasted investment plans in the country even if it’s the continent’s most developed economy and country.
According to Marius Croucamp, spokesman for the Solidarity union, South Africa’s S.P. Metal Forgings is scheduled to end production of two components that it delivered to SKF, the world’s biggest bearings builder, after Ford closed its contract with the Swedish company. Ford in South Africa is the third-largest automaker, after Toyota and Volkswagen as it delivers around 6,000 vehicles a month. It also exports much of its local production.