Ford to take a position $1 billion to improve South Africa operations

© Reuters. Ford logo is pictured at Ford Motor Co plant in Taubate

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) – Ford Motor (NYSE:) Co will invest $1.05 billion in its South African manufacturing operations, including upgrades to expand production of its Ranger pickup truck, the U.S. automaker said on Tuesday.

The investments aim to increase Ford’s installed capacity in South Africa from 168,000 to 200,000 vehicles, said Andrea Cavallaro, operations director of Ford’s International Market Group.

“It’s the biggest investment in Ford’s 97-year history in South Africa and one of the largest ever in the local automotive industry,” he told an announcement event.

The amount includes $683 million for technology upgrades and new facilities at its plant in Silverton, a suburb of the administrative capital Pretoria, and $365 million to upgrade tooling at major supplier factories.

The expanded production will create 1,200 jobs with Ford in South Africa, increasing the local workforce to 5,500 employees, while adding an estimated 10,000 new jobs across the carmaker’s supplier network.

Ford also aims to make the Silverton plant entirely energy self-sufficient and carbon neutral by 2024, Cavallaro said.

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