Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa (FMCSA) said on Friday that it would add 800 new jobs to its payroll to increase production at both its plants, starting on September 3.
FMCSA would add a second shift to its Silverton plant, in Pretoria, where the Ranger pick-up is assembled, and a third shift at its pick-up diesel-engine plant, in Port Elizabeth, to accommodate a ramp-up in production. Training of potential employees to fill the new positions began in June this year.
“In order to meet continued strong demand in South Africa and abroad, we are adding shifts to our operations, creating jobs and confirming our commitment to South Africa,” said FMCSA president and CEO Jeff Nemeth.
Ford last year wrapped up a R3.4-billion investment at its manufacturing and assembly plants in South Africa to enable it to produce and export its new Ranger pick-up to 148 countries, mostly in Africa and Europe.
As from 2011, FMCSA’s multivehicle, low-volume assembly programme, with limited exports, had been replaced with the Ranger as its single production focus.
Assembly of the Focus and the Bantam, as well as the previous Ranger and Mazda BT-50 models, including exports, totalled 32 000 units in 2010. However, the revitalised Silverton plant has a production capacity of 110 000 units a year.
“We invested significantly to transform our operations, and it is our strong belief that the jobs [created] have the power to transform people’s lives as well,” noted Nemeth. “In addition, creating new jobs is incredibly empowering and helps make a difference in the communities where we have operations.
“The main objective of training the potential new employees is to give trainees a better understanding of our industry and equip them with the necessary skills to take up positions in the plant and start building world-class Rangers.
“As part of the One Ford plan, and to maintain a viable and strategic presence in Southern Africa, we require a globally integrated supply chain and a highly trained workforce. We are pleased with the investments in South Africa and we are committed to having world-class facilities and standards.”