PORT ELIZABETH, South Africa, 29 September, 2011 – The Ford Struandale Engine Plant provided a rousing welcome for President Jacob Zuma yesterday when he visited the facility as part of his tour of the region’s leading automotive manufacturers.
This marked the first time a South African President had visited the Struandale Engine Plant, and the high-level delegation included Eastern Cape Premier Noxolo Kiviet and Minister of Economic Development Ebrahim Patel.
They were received by Jeff Nemeth, president and CEO of Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa, Struandale Engine Plant manager Wallace Yearwood, along with an enthusiastic crowd of some 300 employees.
“We are exceptionally proud that President Zuma was able to visit the Ford Struandale Engine Plant during his tour of the automotive industry in Nelson Mandela Bay,” Nemeth said. “It was of particular significance that he was also able to experience a ride in the all-new Ford Ranger, powered by the Duratorq TDCi engine produced in Port Elizabeth.”
The all-new Ranger is being built at Ford’s Silverton Assembly Plant in Pretoria. It is due to be officially launched next month, and will ultimately be exported to 148 markets. Along with the Duratorq TDCi engine programme, this export programme represents an investment of R3,4-billion in the local economy.
“This signifies the important role that Ford plays in the region in terms of employment, economic growth and sustainability, while entrenching our position as a true global player,” Nemeth stated.
The Struandale Engine Plant has significantly upgraded and expanded its machining and assembly capabilities for this programme, and now has an annual production capacity of 220 000 machined component kits, comprising the head, block and crankshaft for the Duratorq TDCi engine.
Approximately 75 000 of these will be used for local engine assembly to power the all-new Ranger built at Ford’s Silverton plant. The remaining 145 000 component sets are destined for export to Ford engine assembly plants in Thailand and Argentina.
Notably, the Struandale Engine Plant is the only Ford plant in the world that shares both Duratorq TDCi component machining and engine assembly volumes for the Ranger programme. The result is that every Ford Ranger sold across the globe will use either engines or components produced at the Struandale Engine Plant.