Increased demand for some of Ford’s vehicles has led to the expansion of the country’s South African operations. Ford Motor Company Of South Africa (FMCSA) has announced the employment of 1,200 new employees starting from August of 2019.
Adding these employees to FMCSA’s payroll will bring the total number of people employed by Ford in South Africa to about 5,500. The move will add about 10,000 more jobs to the sector by bolstering supplier companies.
Ford’s Investment Paying Off
In 2017, Ford invested R3 billion in its South African plants. Ockbert Berry, Vice President of Operations for Ford Middle East and Africa said that the investment has come to fruition with the addition of a third shift in a bid to increase the company’s production output.
Berry went on to say that the investment they made expanded their production capacity at the Silverton Assembly Plant from 124,000 to 168,000 vehicles per year. The numbers they have achieved now are 58,000 more than the company’s original capacity when the Ranger program currently in existence was started in 2011. This reflects how much Ford’s South African enterprise has grown over the years.
The third shift which has been added will see Ford step up its daily production from 506 assembled vehicles per day to peak production capacity of 720 units. Berry said that this is necessary to satisfy the strong demand from customers in South Africa. Berry added that they export to 148 markets and there is a need to cater to the demands of that market as well.
Three Shift Pattern
Beginning in August, the Silverton Assembly Plant will implement a three shift schedule from Monday to Thursday. The plant will run around the clock and on Friday, there will be an additional shift available which is designated to address any potential shortfalls during the production schedule running through the week.
Berry says that the new shift pattern was created for hourly employees and it makes provision for 104 skilled artisans and technicians. These employees have been given permanent positions to add to the staffers already present at the Silverton plant.
Ford, A Growing Company
Ford has 148 markets across the globe to which it exports two thirds of the vehicles it produces. The remaining lot is sold in South Africa and Sub Saharan countries.
The Ford Ranger is the best export vehicle in the Light Commercial Vehicle sector. The model is ranked as the top selling pickup in Europe. The Ranger is a model built locally in South Africa.
The Raptor accompanies the Ranger as one of the most sought after models in Europe. Ford’s vehicles are expired through Port Elizabeth due to the need to decongest Durban’s harbor. Ford also has a plant in Port Elizabeth which supports two global Diesel engine programs.
There are also various other Ford plants across South Africa that manufacture parts for the Silverton plant. The local plants also ship parts to North America, China and Europe among other markets.