Due to strong demand for the Ranger bakkie, Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa (FMCSA) will add 800 new positions to increase production at its Silverton Assembly Plant and its Struandale Engine Plant.
FMCSA will add a second shift to its Silverton Assembly Plant and a third shift at its Struandale Engine Plant. Training of potential employees to fill the new positions began in June.
"The customers have spoken, and they want more of the quality, cost and capability offered by our Ranger pickup trucks," said Jeff Nemeth, President and CEO of FMCSA. "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. 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.
"In addition, creating new jobs is incredibly empowering and helps make a difference in the communities where we have operations."
Ford last year announced the completion of a R3.4-billion transformation at its manufacturing and assembly plants in South Africa to enable it to produce and export its new Ranger bakkies to 148 countries, mostly in Africa and Europe.
"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," Nemeth said. "A core part of our production philosophy is to empower the operators by giving them the right tools and training to build the highest quality vehicles possible.
"Our enthusiasm for technical innovation is always tempered by our responsibility to the vehicle, to our customers and their safety. As a result of the day-to-day commitment, products that meet such high quality demands also require high standards from people producing them. 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. The successful candidates underwent stringent classroom and on-the-job training; they are now equipped to build high quality 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," said Nemeth. "We are pleased with the investments in South Africa and we are committed to having world-class facilities and standards."