PRETORIA, South Africa — Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa’s (FMCSA) three millionth unit rolled off the production line today. Ford celebrated the production milestone at its Silverton Assembly Plant in Pretoria where Ford Motor Company’s global president and CEO Alan Mulally was on-hand to celebrate the momentous occasion.
“Ford Motor Company last week celebrated its 100th anniversary of the moving assembly line invented by Ford Motor Company under the leadership of Henry Ford,” said Mulally. “The company is building on its legacy of innovation by expanding advanced manufacturing capabilities and introducing groundbreaking technologies that could revolutionise mass production for decades to come.”
Ford, an active participant in the South African automotive industry since 1923, has invested substantially in South Africa to grow its business into a world-class operation that delivers the highest quality vehicles at affordable prices to customers in South Africa, as well as exporting to 148 markets around the world.
For South Africans this translates into world-class training and the transfer of skills to the benefit of the country and its people. This up skilling will also result in higher quality products produced at a lower cost.
“At Ford we are accelerating our efforts to standardise production, make factories more flexible and introduce advanced technologies to efficiently build the best vehicles possible at the best value for our customers. South Africa is one of only three assembly plants around the world that produces the new Ranger and as such competes on a global stage,” said Mulally.
“South Africa’s first motor vehicle assembly plant was housed in a converted wool store in Port Elizabeth where 10 vehicles a day were assembled,” said Jeff Nemeth, President and CEO of Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa. “We have come a long way since then. Today we produce around 370 vehicles a day that has seen us reach our 3 millionth vehicle milestone in almost 90 years.”
Production of the Model T Ford was followed in subsequent years by the addition of iconic nameplates such as the Ford Cortina and the Ford Escort while, in more recent years, Ford produced models such as the Laser, Ikon, Fiesta, Focus, Mondeo, as well as the memorable Ford Bantam.
FMCSA has invested R3.4 billion into South Africa in order to transform the company’s local facilities to produce the Ford Ranger and Duratorq engine. Annual capacity has been increased at the Silverton Assembly Plant to 110 000 units with approximately 3,100 people employed in South Africa.
“Today we celebrated a huge milestone. As much as our heritage is American, we’re South African too. We’re one of the longest operating car manufacturing companies in South Africa, and this milestone speaks to our commitment to the local market, ” Nemeth concluded.