Automotive Purchasing Weekly 11 April 2016 - page 10

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Ford invests$170million inSouth
Africa tobuildnewEverest SUV
5 April 2016 | OEM
Ford will export all-new Everest into Sub-
Saharan Africa countries.
Ford is investing $170 million to expand
operations in South Africa at its Silverton
Assembly Plant in Pretoria, South Africa, to
produce the all-new Ford Everest, along with
the new Ford Ranger that was launched at the
end of last year.
This investment will create approximately
1,200 new jobs at Ford South Africa and within
the South African supplier network.
“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.”
The Silverton facility joins AutoAlliance
Thailand in Rayong; Ford’s Chennai plant in
India (where it is sold as the Endeavor) and
the JMC Xiaolan Plant in Nanchang, China,
as production hubs for the Everest. 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.
Part of this investment has been directed
towards the production of the new Ranger,
which is already running at maximum capacity
at the Silverton Assembly Plant –with domestic
sales and export demand at an all-time high.
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.”
Currently, the all-new Everest is imported
from Thailand, using the locally produced
3.2-litre five-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 2.2-litre
Duratorq TDCi four-cylinder diesel engine will
be added to the range, along with a wider
spread of specification levels.
Built at Ford’s Struandale Engine Plant in
Port Elizabeth, the latest-generation Duratorq
TDCi diesel engines – which are also used
in the new Ranger – offer maximum fuel
economy along with exceptional performance.
In recent years, Africa has emerged as an
increasingly important region for Ford, with
continued investment and growth.
In 2008, Ford announced plans to build
the Ford Ranger at its Silverton Assembly
Plant with an investment of R3.4 billion. The
investment allowed Ford to transform both
of its South African plants into world class
facilities to produce the Ford Ranger and
Duratorq TDCi engines for local consumption
and export.
The Ford Ranger is exported to 148
countries in Africa, Middle East and Europe,
while engines and machined components
are supplied to Argentina, Thailand, North
America, India and China.
In 2014, Ford formed its newest business
unit, Middle East and Africa comprising 67
markets to support the region with a dedicated
focus and clear understanding of the unique
conditions and customer needs.
The African growth story continued in 2015,
when Ford confirmed that it would assemble
the Ford Ranger in Nigeria, using semi knock-
down (SKD) kits and components imported
from South Africa.
Ford’s growth story goes beyond its
manufacturing expansion in South Africa. In
2015, Ford sold 78,471 passenger cars and
light commercial vehicles in South Africa, the
highest number on record. The South African-
built Ranger pickup performed particularly
well, with an 18.1% year-on-year increase in
sales and a total of 33,920 Rangers sold in
2015.
“As we continue to grow our business here
in South Africa we are committed to improving
the skills of our employees and creating new
opportunities within the company and the
broader supply chain. It is only through the
dedication and commitment of our work force,
suppliers, dealers, union and government
partners that we have been able to secure
this investment and expand our operations,
broadening our footprint in Africa even further,”
Nemeth concluded.
Daimler launchesproductionof nine-speed
automatic transmissions inRomania
5 April 2016 | OEM
Daimler’s Romanian subsidiary, Star
Assembly has started production of
the 9G-TRONIC nine-speed automatic
transmission.
Daimler has launched production of
the 9G-TRONIC nine-speed automatic
transmission in Sebes in Romania and
is thereby expanding its transmission-
manufacturing capacity. To mark the official
launch of production, the new Plant M
anager Falk Pruscha welcomed Costin Borc,
Romanian Vice Prime Minister and Minister
of Economy; Markus Schäfer, Member
of the Divisional Board of Mercedes-
Benz Cars, Manufacturing and Supply
Chain Management; Frank Deiß, Head of
Production Powertrain Mercedes-Benz Cars
and Site Manager Mercedes-Benz plant
Untertürkheim; as well as other guests from
politics and industry.
“With the expansion of transmission
production in Sebes, we are able to respond
more flexibly and efficiently to the growing
demand for automatic transmissions. The
development of our transmission production
in Romania is an ideal addition to our global
powertrain production network with its lead
plant in Untertürkheim,” said Schäfer.
Daimler is investing a total of more than
€300 million in the expansion of capacity
and is creating around 1.000 additional jobs
at its Romanian subsidiary Star Assembly.
The new production area covers the size
of around 10 football pitches. Some 500
kilometres of cables and 5.000 tonnes of
metal went into its construction.
“Today’s start of production, together
with the associated investment in the site
in Sebes, offers excellent future prospects
for the region. We are thus writing another
chapter in the success story of cooperation
between Daimler and Romania as a
production location,” said Costin Borc,
Romanian Vice Prime Minister and Minister
of Economy.
Daimler currently employs over 1.800
people at the two sites operated by its
Romanian subsidiaries Star Transmission
and Star Assembly. Founded in 2001, Star
Transmission’s plant in Cugir manufactures
gearwheels and shafts as well as machined
components for engines, transmissions
and steering systems. It is also home
to the technology centre and a training
establishment. Its sister company Star
Assembly was set up in 2013 in Sebes, with
production of the five-speed automatic
transmission launching in the same year. The
first seven-speed automatic transmission left
the assembly line in 2014.
“The investment and further expansion
here in Romania are a sign of appreciation
for our employees’ commitment and know-
how. I am extremely pleased to be a new
member of the team at Star Transmission
and Star Assembly,” said Pruscha, who is the
Managing Director of Star Transmission and
Star Assembly since December 2015.
VolvoCarGroupexperiencesgrowth
of 11.5% inMarch, first quarter up 11.9%
4 April 2016 | OEM
Volvo Cars continues to grow sales globally in March and posted an 11.5% increase in retail
sales for the month, selling 52,279 cars.
Sales of the all-new Volvo XC90 were the
main growth driver globally, while the XC60
was the best-selling model overall. Global
growth in the first quarter amounted to 11.9%.
The US reported a sales increase of 15.9%
versus the same month last year, marking
the ninth consecutive month of double-digit
growth. Retail sales amounted to 6,857 cars.
The new Volvo XC90 was the key growth
driver and the best-selling Volvo model in
the US.
Sales in Europe as a whole were up by
13.1% with growth across the region with
the UK being the fastest growing market in
March and Volvo Cars’ biggest market for
the month. The Volvo XC60 was the best-
selling model in Europe while the new XC90
represented most of the growth for the
month.
Volvo China reported retail sales of 7,542
cars in March, up 13.9%. The best-selling
cars were the locally produced Volvo XC60
and S60L models.
The Volvo XC60 was the best-selling
model in March with 14,676 sold cars (2015:
15,925), followed by the Volvo V40 and V40
Cross Country at 10,965 cars (11,585). The
new Volvo XC90 was the third best-selling
model with 8,541 sold cars (new).
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