Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa (FMCSA) has created 800 jobs in response to strong demand for increased production of its Ford Ranger pickup truck, which begins on 3 September.
Training of employees to fill the extra positions at the company’s Silverton assembly plant in Pretoria and its Struandale engine plant outside Port Elizabeth began in June.
This follows last year’s R3.4-billion transformation and upgrade of Ford’s South African manufacturing and assembly plants to produce and export its new Rangers to 148 countries, mainly in Africa and Europe.
The Struandale plant expanded its annual production capacity to 75 000 engines and 220 000 engine component kits, and is the only Ford facility to share both component machining and engine assembly for the Duratorq TDCi diesel engine programme which supports the Ford Ranger.
“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,” FMCSA chief executive officer Jeff Nemeth said in a statement.
“We invested significantly to transform our operations, and it is our strong belief that these jobs have the power to transform people’s lives as well.”
Nemeth said it enabled the empowerment of local communities which Ford operated in.
“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,” he said.
“Our enthusiasm for technical innovation is always tempered by our responsibility to the vehicle, to our customers and their safety.
“We’re investing in the continuous training and education of our employees. Each one of the 800 potential new employees underwent comprehensive pre-employment assessment prior to the commencement of training.”
Successful candidates were then given both classroom and on-the-job training to equip them to build the Ford 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,” Nemeth said.
“We are pleased with the investments in South Africa and we are committed to having world-class facilities and standards.”