Ford To Invest $169 Million In South Africa To Build Everest SUV

6 years, 11 months ago - 7 April 2016, Automotive News
Ford To Invest $169 Million In South Africa To Build Everest SUV
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa (Bloomberg) -- Ford Motor Co. will invest 2.5 billion rand ($169 million) in the U.S. automaker’s South African operations to start production of the Everest SUV and create about 1,200 jobs.

The company’s plant in Pretoria, the capital, will have capacity to build 10,000 Everests a year, and will be the fourth production hub for the SUV after factories in Thailand, India and China, Ford said in a statement today. The automaker plans to start producing the Everest in South Africa in the third quarter and the vehicles will be sold across sub-Saharan 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,” 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 South African government’s automotive-incentive program has attracted companies including Ford, BMW AG, and Volkswagen AG to set up factories and create jobs in the country, where unemployment is almost 25 percent. Exports of all cars and commercial vehicles are forecast to reach a record of 376,000 this year, according to the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa, even as the local market declines. Automakers are also preparing for an expected rise in demand in sub-Saharan Africa, boosted by improved road conditions and young populations with disposable income.

In South Africa, Ford produces the Ranger in Pretoria and manufactures the Duratorq engine at a factory in Port Elizabeth. The $169 million will also include investment in Ranger production, which is running at full capacity, the company said.