Ford Motor Company will invest $1.05 billion to build a plant in South Africa – the largest investment in the country amid declining sales in other regions, including Brazil and Europe.
The modernization of the Silverton plant near the capital, Pretoria, will increase the plant’s annual capacity by nearly a fifth to 200,000 units and create about 1,200 jobs, the company said in a statement.
These costs will support production of the new Ranger pickup starting in 2022, both for domestic sale and for export.
The move comes after Ford said last month that it would stop car production in Brazil, close three factories and lay off 5,000 workers. The company also cut jobs in Europe as part of a massive global reorganization.
“Ford’s investment is tied to the prospects of the Ranger pickup, one of the top three commercial vehicles in sales last year,” said Andrea Cavallaro, COO of International Markets Group.
The country’s trade agreements and the government’s willingness to listen to infrastructure requirements were also taken into account, he said.