New Ford Everest SUV

Ford has invested USD$170 million (RM665 million) to expand its operations at its Silverton Assembly Plant in Pretoria, South Africa. There, it will produce the new Ford Everest alongside the Ford Ranger. The investment will create some 1,200 new jobs at Ford South Africa and within the supplier network.

“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,” said Jim Farley, Ford executive vice president and president of Europe, Middle East and Africa.

“The investment reaffirms the importance of these markets as part of our growth strategy across the Middle East and Africa. It further reinforces South Africa’s position as a strategic export base for Ford Motor Company,” Farley explained.

Initial production of the Ranger-based Everest at the Silverton plant will commence in the third quarter of 2016. The first units are expected to come into the market by the fourth quarter. Models produced in South Africa will be sold locally and also exported across Sub-Saharan Africa.

The plant is equipped with state-of-the-art automation that utilises Ford’s global manufacturing processes, and it will be capable of producing 10,000 Everests each year. According to Jeff Nemeth, president and CEO of Ford Motor Company Sub-Saharan Africa Region, demand for the third-gen Everest far “outstrips” supply.

“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,” he added.

The Silverton plant joins the AutoAlliance plant in Rayong in Thailand, Ford’s Chennai plant in India and the JMC Xialan Plant in Nanchang, China as production hubs for the Everest.