Ford has started the production of Everest aka Endeavour SUV in South Africa at its Silverton Assembly Plant in Pretoria. The American autogiant has invested R2.5-billion ($170 million) and this investment will create approximately 1,200 new jobs at Ford South Africa. The Silverton facility joins AutoAlliance Thailand in Rayong, Ford’s Chennai plant in India and the JMC Xiaolan Plant in Nanchang, China, as production hubs for the Everest.
“Our customers love the capability and utility offered by the all-new Ford Everest,” said Jim Farley, Ford executive vice president and president of Europe, Middle East and Africa. “By producing the Everest in South Africa, we will be able to make it more readily available, and in a greater variety of models, for customers throughout Sub-Saharan Africa. “The R2.5-billion investment reaffirms the importance of these markets as part of our growth strategy across the Middle East and Africa,” Farley added. “It further reinforces South Africa’s position as a strategic export base for Ford Motor Company.” Currently, the all-new Everest is imported from Thailand, using the locally produced 3.2L, 5-cylinder Duratorq TDCi engine. It is only available in South Africa in 3.2 Automatic guise in two specification levels – XLT and the range-topping Limited. With the commencement of local production, a 2.2L Duratorq TDCi 4-cylinder diesel engine will be added to the range.
Initial production at Silverton of the Everest will commence in the third quarter of 2016, with the first units expected to come to market in the fourth quarter. South African-produced models will be sold locally and exported to markets across Sub-Saharan Africa. The Silverton Assembly Plant features state-of-the-art automation utilising Ford's global manufacturing processes, and will be equipped to produce 10,000 Everests annually. “The all-new Everest has been extremely well received since it was launched in September last year, with demand far outstripping supply,” said Jeff Nemeth, president and CEO of Ford Motor Company Sub-Saharan Africa Region. "This crucial investment will enable us to increase volumes and expand the Everest range to eight derivatives across a broader price range. It will allow customers across Sub-Saharan Africa to choose from two powerful engines mated to robust six-speed automatic or manual transmissions for exceptional capability.”