Ford SA can give themselves a well-earned pat on the back, with the announcement that from next year they'll be exporting South-African made engines to the Ford's homeland - the United States.
The Ford SA engine plant at Struandale is busy increasing production capacity to cope with the expected demand when the Ford Transit van, Europe's best selling commercial vehicle, is released in the US market for the first time in its 40-year history - powered by the locally-made, five-cylinder 3.2-litre Duratorq turbodiesel, recently introduced to the South African market in the new Ford Ranger bakkie.
The engines (which will be known in the US as the 3.2-litre Power Stroke) will be shipped to Kansas City assembly plant in Claycomo, Missouri, where a production line for US-spec Transit vans is being set up to start production late in 2013.
ADDING NEW EQUIPMENT
Ford SA president Jeff Nemeth explained: "Expanding our Duratorq TDCi production for North America is a real achievement. This will be the first time we will be exporting engines to the United States - and it'll increase our production of the Duratorq TDCi engine by more than 31 000 a year."
Struandale plant manager Satya Banda said: "Adding extra engine production for North America helps us to use our plant capacity more efficiently.
"We're going to add new equipment to the existing machining and assembly lines, without affecting our production and worldwide exports of Duratorq engines for the new Ranger.