The Ford Struandale Engine Plant in Port Elizabeth has been recognised once again for its outstanding efforts in driving export business in the Eastern Cape, taking home two esteemed awards at the annual Exporter of the Year banquet held by the Exporters Club of South Africa.
Ford was acknowledged as the 'Best Exporter - OEM', a category for manufacturers of original equipment for the automotive industry. This is the second time the Struandale Engine Plant earned this prestigious title, having also won it in 2013.
The Ford plant also earned second place for the SJM Environmental Merit Award for Continuous Improvement. This is the third consecutive year that Ford has been recognised in this category due to its notable successes in reducing its impact on the environment.
On the same day as these awards were announced, the Struandale Engine Plant officially launched its new 2.2 and 3.2 Duratorq TDCi engines, which offer improved fuel economy, lower emissions and reduced NVH. These units will power the new Ford Ranger which is due to be launched in South Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa markets later this year. The facility is now also doubling its customer base, and will soon commence engine exports to India and China.
The Struandale Engine Plant currently machines components and assembles engines for the Ford Ranger export programme. Component sets, comprising the Duratorq TDCi engine cylinder head, block and crankshaft, are exported to Ford plants in Argentina and Thailand, while fully assembled engines are shipped to Ford's Silverton Assembly Plant in Pretoria for installation in the Ford Ranger, which is exported to over 148 markets around the world.
"This is a fantastic achievement for the Struandale Engine Plant, and is testament to great work the team has done ensure that we are able to produce components and fully assembled engines to the highest standards," says John Cameron, Plant Manager of the Ford Struandale Engine Plant.
"Exports are crucial to our business, the sustainability of the automotive sector in the Eastern Cape and South Africa. The Struandale Engine Plant is recognized as a global centre of excellence for this engine programme, and we are constantly focused on ensuring that we are internationally aligned within the requirements of the Global Ford Production System and remain competitive."
One of Ford's global brand pillars is 'Green', so the emphasis on reducing the Struandale Engine Plant's footprint and minimising its impact on the environment remains central to its operations.
"We aim to ensure that the plant remains eco-friendly and continues to develop as we do," states Neil Stander, Programs and Engineering Manager of the Ford Struandale Engine Plant.
"It is a great achievement to be recognised and to receive this merit award, as it acknowledges Ford's ongoing commitment towards environmental sustainability and eco-friendly manufacturing solutions."