Ford invests $1B in South Africa to support Ranger, VW Amarok production

Ford on Tuesday announced a total investment of $1.05 billion in South Africa to support production of next-generation versions of the Ranger and Volkswagen Amarok mid-size pickup trucks from 2022.

The bulk of the funds, $686 million to be exact, will go toward upgrading the Ford Silverton Assembly Plant located in the city of Pretoria. The rest will go toward upgrading tooling at suppliers located in South Africa.

Key upgrades at the Silverton plant will include a new body shop and stamping plant. The investment is expected to add 1,200 jobs at the plant and a further 10,000 jobs at supplier plants.

Teaser for next Volkswagen Amarok due in 2022 - Photo credit: Motor1

Teaser for next Volkswagen Amarok due in 2022 – Photo credit: Motor1

2022 Ford Ranger spy shots - Photo credit: S. Baldauf/SB-Medien

2022 Ford Ranger spy shots – Photo credit: S. Baldauf/SB-Medien

The Silverton plant is where Ford assembles the current Ranger and an SUV derivative known as the Everest for sale locally and export to approximately 100 countries. Its current annual capacity is 168,000 vehicles but the upgrades will see this lifted to 200,000 vehicles, which will be necessary when the plant also starts churning out Amaroks.

Recall, Ford and Volkswagen Group reached a deal in 2019 to share technologies and production capacity. As part of the deal, Ford will build a redesigned Amarok for VW based on the same underpinnings as the redesigned Ranger that’s due out later this year as a 2022 model. The redesigned Amarok is expected next year.

The redesigned Amarok has only been confirmed for South American, European and African markets thus far, though both Ford and VW have left the door open to it possibly being sold in the United States. That would mean the Amarok would need to be built in the U.S. to avoid the 25% Chicken Tax on imported trucks, which is possible considering the redesigned Ranger will also be built at the same plant in Michigan where the current Ranger is built.

Fredrick R. Siegel

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