Africa|Automotive|Energy|Engines|Export|Gearboxes|Innovation|Manufacturing|Power|Projects|Pumps|Solar|Training|Water|Manufacturing |Products|Operations
Africa|Automotive|Energy|Engines|Export|Gearboxes|Innovation|Manufacturing|Power|Projects|Pumps|Solar|Training|Water|Manufacturing |Products|Operations

Ford celebrates four-million engine production milestone at Struandale

18th October 2023

By: Darren Parker

Creamer Media Contributing Editor Online


Font size: - +

Car manufacturer Ford’s Struandale engine plant, in Gqeberha, in the Eastern Cape, has produced its four-millionth engine – a 2 ℓ four-cylinder bi-turbo diesel engine that will be installed in a new Ranger bakkie at the company’s Silverton assembly plant, in Pretoria.  

This achievement comes as Ford builds up to its centenary celebrations later this year, having established its local operations in South Africa in 1923. 

Local investments of more than R30-billion have been made by the company since then, including a notable injection in the 2000s, resulting in increased production capacity and the introduction of the Ranger. Most recently, Ford has made investments in solar energy projects and engine innovations to improve its sustainability ratings. 

The Ranger is produced for sale in the domestic market, as well as for export to more than 100 global markets. Ford has an installed capacity to produce up to 200 000 Ranger vehicles a year in South Africa.  

This makes the Ranger one of South Africa’s most exported vehicles, with 45 793 vehicles exported between January and September, each with an engine supplied by the Struandale plant. 

Ford says that, despite the manufacturing capacity, demand for the Ranger far outstrips supply, both in local and export markets. 

This year, the new Ranger model became the first bakkie to win the South African Car of the Year title. Its sibling, the Everest sports-utility vehicle (SUV) secured the Adventure SUV crown for 2023 and finished second overall to the Ranger. 

The milestone also coincides with the 300 000th 2 ℓ single turbo/bi-turbo diesel engine being produced at Struandale since this programme was launched in 2018. The 2 ℓ engines were updated last year for the new Ranger with improvements in noise, vibration and harshness. 

The Struandale engine plant also produces the 2.2 ℓ and the 3.2 ℓ Duratorq TDCi engines that were introduced in 2011, as well as the new 3 ℓ V6 diesel engine that powers the range-topping models in the new Ranger line-up, with production having started in 2022 following a R600-million investment. 

“Our plant in Gqeberha remains a cornerstone of the automotive industry in Nelson Mandela Bay and is a vital part of our local manufacturing operations. Our major investments in this facility, in the Silverton assembly plant and at our suppliers in the Tshwane Automotive Special Economic Zone for the new Ranger have . . . support[ed] much-needed job creation and economic development for the country,” Ford South Africa operations VP Ockert Berry says. 

"We have an installed capacity for producing 720 vehicles a day running on three shifts to meet the global demand for the Ranger, but we already exceeded that target twice in August this year with peaks of 736 and 737 vehicles. This is not only the highest production we’ve achieved for the Silverton assembly plant, but is a record for the South African motor industry,” he adds. 

Struandale engine plant manager Shawn Govender says innovation and creative thinking have been hallmarks of the Struandale teams over the years. 

“The assembly line that produces the 3 ℓ V6 turbodiesel engine for the new Ranger still assembles our existing Duratorq TDCi engines, making it the only facility of its kind in the Ford world that produces both V-configuration and in-line engines, as well as a combination of four-, five- and six-cylinder units, all on a single line,” he says. 

He notes that the combined assembly line is essential to make optimal use of the facilities and contain the total investment required, as well as to ensure the company remains competitive from a cost-per-unit perspective. 

Relying on a flexible production format, with scheduled batches of the two different engine programmes being assembled, the line incorporates 40 stations that are common to both platforms and a further 25 stations that are unique to the 3 ℓ V6 diesel engine. The total installed capacity for this line is 130 000 engines a year. 

In addition to assembling the 3 ℓ V6 diesel engine, the Struandale plant machines the cylinder heads for this engine. For the Duratorq TDCi engines, the cylinder head, cylinder block and crankshaft are also machined on site. 

The 2 ℓ SiT/BiT engine assembly line has installed capacity for 120 000 units a year. 

The Struandale engine plant currently has about 850 employees, with a total of about 5 500 people employed by Ford South Africa. 

“We have placed a lot of emphasis on job creation and supporting the surrounding communities with skills development and training through our extensive learnership, apprenticeship and experiential trainee programmes, and providing upliftment and empowerment opportunities to help break the cycle of poverty through our wide range of corporate social responsibility projects,” Govender states. 

Aside from the current component machining and engine assembly operations, the plant also manufactures numerous other products, including wheel hubs, brake discs and drums, engine inlet and exhaust manifolds, water and oil pumps, conrods and flywheels.  

It was also responsible for the remanufacturing of Ford’s Dorset diesel truck engines and the Essex V6 and CVH petrol engines, along with remanufactured power steering racks and automatic gearboxes for the Cortina and Granada. 

Edited by Chanel de Bruyn
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online




ESAB showroom image
ESAB South Africa

ESAB South Arica, the leading supplier of high-end welding and cutting products to the Southern African industrial market is based in...


From batteries for boats and jet skis, to batteries for cars and quad bikes, SABAT Batteries has positioned itself as the lifestyle battery of...


Latest Multimedia

sponsored by

Magazine round up | 12 April 2024
Magazine round up | 12 April 2024
12th April 2024

Option 1 (equivalent of R125 a month):

Receive a weekly copy of Creamer Media's Engineering News & Mining Weekly magazine
(print copy for those in South Africa and e-magazine for those outside of South Africa)
Receive daily email newsletters
Access to full search results
Access archive of magazine back copies
Access to Projects in Progress
Access to ONE Research Report of your choice in PDF format

Option 2 (equivalent of R375 a month):

All benefits from Option 1
Access to Creamer Media's Research Channel Africa for ALL Research Reports, in PDF format, on various industrial and mining sectors including Electricity; Water; Energy Transition; Hydrogen; Roads, Rail and Ports; Coal; Gold; Platinum; Battery Metals; etc.

Already a subscriber?

Forgotten your password?







sq:0.077 0.131s - 173pq - 2rq
Subscribe Now