Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies has welcomed Ford’s R2,5bn investment in local production, saying it’s an important indication of confidence in South Africa.
This, as Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa on Tuesday announced the investment to expand operations in South Africa at its Silverton Assembly Plant, in Pretoria.
This will see the production of the all-new Ford Everest, along with the new Ford Ranger that was launched at the end of last year.
Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA)
Minister Davies said the investment not only shows confidence in South Africa but also shows the significance of the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) two-way benefits.
AGOA is a legislation that provides duty-free market access to the US for qualifying sub-Saharan African countries by extending preferences on more than 4 600 products.
“The automotive industry is of significant importance to South Africa. To date we have invested more than R25bn in the motoring industry and are positive that through this investment we will see more and more vehicles manufactured locally,” said Minister Davies.
Automotive Production and Development Programme (APDP)
Furthermore, the Minister announced that the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti) had awarded Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa with a R699m incentive through the Automotive Production and Development Programme (APDP) incentive for their latest investment expansion.
“We have completed the review of the APDP and the results were welcomed by the industry. We have also established the one-stop investment shop which is intended to interact positively with investors. We wish this venture every success,” said the Minister.
Investment to create jobs
Ford Executive Vice President and President of Europe, Jim Farley, said the investment will create approximately 1,200 new jobs at Ford South Africa and within the South African supplier network.
“Our customers love the capability and utility offered by the all-new Ford Everest. 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.
“The R2,5bn 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,” explained Farley.
The initial production of the Everest at the Silverton plant will commence in the third quarter of 2016, with the first units expected to enter the market in the fourth quarter. South African-produced models will be sold locally and exported to markets across Sub-Saharan Africa.
In 2008, Ford announced plans to build the Ford Ranger at its Silverton Assembly Plant with an investment of R3,4bn. The investment allowed Ford to transform both of its South African plants into world class facilities to produce the Ford Ranger and Duratorq TDCi engines for local consumption and export.