Ford said it would boost the initial investment on the company’s South African plant to start building the Everest SUV.
The Detroit-based automaker is putting an extra 2.5 billion rand (170 million dollars) to expand operations in South Africa at its Silverton Assembly Plant in Pretoria, South Africa, to produce the all-new Ford Everest, along with the new Ford Ranger that was launched at the end of last year. Ford said the investment would create around 1,200 new jobs in South Africa and within its regional supplier network. The Silverton facility will have capacity to build 10,000 Everests annually, while the production is set to start in the third quarter of 2016, with the first units expected to come to market in the fourth quarter.
South African-produced models will be sold locally and exported to markets across Sub-Saharan Africa. Ford’s plant in Pretoria joins the company’s facilities in Thailand, India and China, as production hubs for the new sport utility model. “By producing the Everest in South Africa, we will be able to make it more readily available, and in a greater variety of models, for customers throughout sub-Saharan Africa,” Jim Farley, Ford’s president of Europe, Middle East and Africa, said in a statement. “The 2.5 billion-rand investment reaffirms the importance of these markets as part of our growth strategy.” The new Everest is currently imported from Thailand, using the locally produced 3.2-liter five-cylinder Duratorq TDCi engine at a factory in Port Elizabeth.