Ford Motor Company is investing R2.5-billion to expand operations its Silverton Assembly Plant in Pretoria, to produce the new Ford Everest, along with the new Ford Ranger that was launched at the end of last year.
Jim Farley, Ford executive vice president and president of Europe, Middle East and Africa says “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 Silverton facility joins AutoAlliance Thailand in Rayong; Ford’s Chennai plant in India (where it is sold as the Endeavor) and the JMC Xiaolan Plant in Nanchang, China, as production hubs for the Everest. Initial production at Silverton of the Everest will commence in the third quarter of 2016, with the first units expected to come to market in the fourth quarter. South African-produced models will be sold locally and exported to markets across Sub-Saharan Africa.
The Silverton Assembly Plant features state-of-the-art automation utilising Ford’s global manufacturing processes, and will be equipped to produce 10 000 Everest’s per annum. “The all-new Everest has been extremely well received since it was launched in September last year, with demand far outstripping supply,” said Jeff Nemeth, president and CEO of Ford Motor Company Sub-Saharan Africa Region.
Currently, the Everest is imported from Thailand, using the locally produced 3.2-litre five-cylinder Duratorq TDCi engine. It is only available in South Africa in 3.2 Automatic guise in two specification levels – XLT and the range-topping Limited. With local production, a 2.2-litre Duratorq TDCi four-cylinder diesel engine will be added to the range, along with a wider spread of specification levels.