by SAVIOUS KWINIKA
JOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) – ALMOST six decades after a then investment of R8 million, Ford Motor Company of South Africa’s Struandale engine plant has produced its 4 millionth engine.
The 2.0-litre four-cylinder Bi-Turbo diesel engine will be installed in a new Ranger bakkie (pickup) at Ford’s Silverton assembly plant in Pretoria.
The Ranger is produced for domestic sales and exports to more than 100 global markets, with an installed capacity for producing up to 200 000 vehicles per year.
This makes Ranger one of South Africa’s leading vehicle exports, with 45 793 vehicles exported between January and September 2023 – all powered by engines supplied by the Struandale plant.
Fittingly, this major milestone also coincides with the 300 000th 2.0L Single Turbo/Bi-Turbo diesel engine being produced at Struandale since this programme was launched in 2018.
This engine family is revered for its impressive performance, reliability and fuel economy, with the Single Turbo version powering Ranger to its class win in the 2019 WesBank Fuel Economy Tour.
The 2.0-litre engines were updated in 2022 for the new Ranger with further improvements in noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) for even greater comfort and refinement.
Struandale also produces the 2.2L and 3.2L Duratorq TDCi engines that were introduced in 2011, as well as the new 3.0L V6 Diesel engine that powers the range-topping models in the new Ranger line-up, with production commencing in 2022 following a R600 million investment.
Ford’s history in South Africa is inextricably linked to the city of Port Elizabeth (now known as Gqeberha), where it was founded in 1923.
Ockert Berry, Vice President: Operations, Ford South Africa, said Struandale had been instrumental in Ford’s development and growth over the past 59 years, particularly for export operations.
“The four million total engine production, along with the 300 000 2.0L Single Turbo and Bi-Turbo diesel engines assembled to date, are remarkable achievements,” Berry said.
Struandale currently has around 850 employees, with a total of approximately 5 500 people employed by Ford South Africa – almost double the 2 700 jobs it provided in 1964.
– CAJ News