Ford Invest $170 Million In South Africa Plant To Build Everest
Investment to add 1,200 new jobs at Silverton Assembly Plant in Pretoriaby Mark McNabb, on
Ford is expanding its South African operations in preparation for the upcoming Everest SUV.The Everest will share the assembly line with the existing Ford Ranger pickup at the Silverton Assembly Plant in Pretoria, South Africa.
Ford is set to invest $175 million in the expansion project, while creating some 1,200 new jobs, both directly at the plant and within the South African supplier network.
“Our customers love the capability and utility offered by the all-new Ford Everest,” said Jim Farley, Ford executive vice president and president of Europe, Middle East and Africa. “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.
Farley continued in saying the investment reaffirms the importance of the South African market to Ford’s growth strategy across the Middle East and Africa. The South African network will act as a strategic export base for the automaker.
The Silverton plant is expected to build 10,000 Everests annually. This will work to alleviate the Everest’s current production facility in Thailand. The new local assembly will also add new engine and trim line choices to the South African market. Currently the Everest is only available with the 3.2-liter I-5 Duratorq turbodiesel with the automatic transmission in XLT or Limited trims. The Silverton plant will give South African’s the chance to buy the 2.2-liter I-4 Duratorq and several more trim options.
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Why it matters
Ford’s growing global presence is undeniable, though that’s nothing new. This sizable investment into its South African assembly plant will help alleviate logistical and supply problems for the all-new Everest SUV.
Sadly, this doesn’t mean much for U.S. buyers. Ford’s only body-on-frame SUV sold Stateside remains the Expedition. Those looking for a rugged, go-anywhere, midsize SUV must look elsewhere. It’s hard to fault Ford for its widespread use of unibody structures underpinning its U.S. SUVs. In fact just about every other automaker has transitioned their midsize SUV to unibody chassis – all except Toyota with its 4Runner and Jeep with its Wrangler.
The U.S. aside, it’s great to see Ford investing in its overseas operations. This indicates a strong company who’s able to weather any future market fluctuations.
Read our full review on the Ford Everest here.