Ford South Africa Struandale Engine Plant

  • A Proud Legacy Spanning Five Decades
  • Proud 50-year history in Port Elizabeth
  • Eight engine platforms, over 3-million engines produced
  • Global centre of excellence for Duratorq TDCi engine machining and assembly
  • Export of fully assembled engines to North America



PORT ELIZABETH, South Africa, 6 November, 2014 The Ford Struandale Engine Plant celebrates its historic 50th anniversary this year, signalling a proud heritage and an impressive track record spanning five decades of production in Port Elizabeth.

The plant officially opened in 1964 in the Struandale industrial area, and has produced over 3-million units covering eight engine platforms to date.

“This is an important milestone for Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa, as Ford originally started in Port Elizabeth, which was the local motoring hub in the 1920s and remains one of the region’s most important sectors,” says Jeff Nemeth, President and CEO of Ford Motor Company of South Africa and Sub-Sahara Africa.

“The Struandale Engine Plant has endured an ever-changing automotive landscape, and remains a crucial part of our local operations. Moreover, it is a significant supplier within the global Ford network, supplying machined components and engines to Ford plants in North America, South America and Asia.”

Recognized as a global centre of excellence, the Struandale Engine Plant is the only facility in the world that performs dual roles for the Ford Ranger engine program, both machining components as well as assembling the 2,2-litre and 3,2-litre Duratorq TDCi turbodiesel engines.

The fully assembled engines are shipped to the Ford Silverton Assembly Plant in Pretoria for installation in the new Ranger, which is exported to over 148 markets around the world. The balance of the components are exported to Ford engine plants in Thailand and Argentina.

It has an installed capacity of approximately 220 000 component kits (cylinder head, block and crankshaft), as well as 75 000 engine assemblies for the Ranger programme.

As of January 2014, the Struandale Engine Plant began producing the Power Stroke 3,2-litre turbodiesel engine for the North American Ford Transit that is assembled in Kansas City. With an additional installed capacity for 31 000 engines, this the first time that Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa is exporting products to North America.

“The local team has consistently proved that they are up to the challenge, using trademark South African ingenuity and dedication to produce world-class products,” Nemeth states. “From the popular RoCam engine that reached a final production volume of over 1,3-million units to the new Duratorq TDCi engine that powers the mighty Ranger, the local products and the people that have made it happen have done us proud.”


After commencing operation in 1964, the Struandale Engine Plant’s first milestone was reached just months later when the 10 000th engine was produced in April 1965. Its 100 000th engine followed just three years on, burgeoning to a million units by 1987.

One of the plant’s most successful programs was the trusty RoCam engine, with manufacturing getting under way in 1999 and concluding 13 years later after reaching a total production volume of 1 346 919 units.

The RoCam engines were used in several South African models and exported to a number of markets including India, Spain, Germany, Italy, Russia, Mexico, Venezuela and Argentina.

In the process, the Struandale Engine Plant achieved ISO 14001 environmental certification in 2000 and, in 2005, produced both its 500 000th RoCam unit and two-millionth engine.

In 2009 it attained the ISO 9001:2008 Quality Management Certification and was awarded the Maximum Level 8 Quality rating from Ford’s Global Powertrain Organisation (PTO).

The facility underwent a complete revamp during 2010 following the announcement of an investment of more than R3,4-billion in Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa. This led to the production of the sophisticated new-generation Duratorq TDCi engine at the Port Elizabeth plant to power the all-new Ford Ranger which is assembled at the Silverton Assembly Plant in Pretoria for the domestic and export markets.

Component machining commenced in May 2011, followed by engine assembly a month later. By November 2013 the local team churned out the 100 000th Duratorq TDCi engine, and followed this up with the plant’s three-millionth engine tally being reach in July this year.

The Struandale Engine Plant has won numerous awards, including 2013 Exporter of the Year from the Exporters Club of South Africa (Eastern Cape), Best Exporter for OEMs, and IDC Job Creation Award. It has also received the SJM Flex Environmental Award for the past two years.

Additionally, the plant’s employee wellness and community support initiatives have received numerous plaudits. In particular the HIV & AIDS Wellness Cluster, conducted in conjunction with the Automotive Industry Development Centre (AIDC) to support local supplier companies, has been met with local and international acclaim.

The most notable highlight was being named among the best-in-class private sector wellness programmes across the world by the Global Coalition’s Business Action on Health Awards in New York in 2011.

Ford Struandale Engine Plant Timeline


  • 1923 – Ford plant opens in Port Elizabeth, making it the 16th Ford plant outside North America
  • 1964 – Engine Plant commissioned in Struandale
  • 1965 – April – 10 000th engine produced – August – First engine assembled using components manufactured at Struandale Engine Plant
  • 1968 – Production of 100 000th engine
  • 1972 – 250 000th engine produced
  • 1972 – First locally produced crankshaft manufactured at Engine Plant
  • 1977 – 500 000th engine milestone reached
  • 1982 – 750 000th engine produced, plant output reaches 300 engines a day,
  • 1987 – One-millionth engine produced
  • 1990 – Manufacture of the Ford V6 Essex 3,0-litre engine starts for export
  • 1995 – Awarded export contract to Europe for Ford PTe 1.4 and 1.6 EFI engines
  • 1996 – Plant output increases to 400 engines a day as the project starts
  • 1997 – 100 000th Pte export engine built
  • 1998 – Appointed as manufacturer of Ford RoCam engines for local and export use
  • 1999 – Production of Ford RoCam 1.6 engine begins– Appointed as sole global manufacturer of RoCam 1.3 engines for SA and Europe
  • 2000 – SABS ISO 14001 environmental certification
  • 2001 – Manufacture of RoCam 1.3 engine starts
  • 2002 – Export of RoCam engines to Russia begins
  • 2002 – Plant output increases from 400 to 900 engines a day
  • 2003 – The plant reaches 1,5-million engine milestone
  • 2005 – Export of RoCam engines expanded to include Mexico and South America
  • – 2-millionth engine produced
  • – 500 000th RoCam engine
  • 2006 – Export of components to China and India reaches 100 000 mark
  • 2006  – 750 000th RoCam engine and two millionth powerplant produced
  • 2007 – The plant produces its millionth RoCam and 2,5-millionth engine
  • 2009 – Engine Plant achieves ISO 9001:2008 Quality Management Certification
  • Maximum Level 8 Quality rating from Ford’s Global Powertrain Organisation (PTO)
  • 2010 – April – Duratorq TDCi export programme investment announced for Struandale Engine Plant, as part of overall investment of more than R3,4-billion in FCMSA for new-generation Ford Ranger produced at Silverton
  • – June – Official opening of new Assembly Hall for Duratorq TDCi engine assembly
  • 2011 – May – Component machining commences for Duratorq TDCi engine programme for export to Thailand and Argentina, and local assembly
  • – June – Engine Assembly Job 1 launch for Duratorq TDCi, making Struandale Engine Plant the only facility in the world that machines components and assembles engines for the Ranger
  • – October – All-new Ford Ranger, powered by Duratorq TDCi engine produced at Struandale Engine Plant, launched in South Africa to local and international media
  • 2012 – September – Continued strong demand for all-new Ranger results in additional jobs being created at Silverton Assembly Plant and Struandale Engine Plant
  • – December – Announcement of export programme for North American Ford Transit. Additional installed capacity for additional 31 000 machined components and 3,2-litre five-cylinder diesel engines
  • – RoCam engine production ends on impressive total of 1 346 919 units
  • 2013 – September – Struandale Engine Plant wins Exporter of the Year award from Exporters Club of South Africa (Eastern Cape), including Best Exporter for OEMs, IDC Job Creation Award and SJM Flex Environmental Merit Award
  • – November – Production of 100 000th Duratorq TDCi engine
  • 2014 – January – Engine production commences for North American Transit, assembled in Kansas City. First time FMCSA is exporting to the US
  • – July – 3-millionth engine produced – a 3,2-litre five-cylinder Duratorq TDCi unit
  • – August – Exporters Club SJM Environmental Merit Award won for second consecutive year
  • – November – Struandale Engine Plant celebrates its historic 50th Anniversary