Ford Builds $167 Million Plant For Everest SUVs In South Africa

Apr 14, 2016 05:35 AM EDT | Tes Christiansen

Ford's Everest SUV will have a new production plant valued at $167 million, which would be located in the sub-Saharan part of South Africa. As a result, the investment would uplift Pretoria's employment services sector as production starts by the third quarter this year, join the likes of India, Thailand, and China.

After South Africa announced in 2015 its intent to promote its auto-incentive program, many international companies have shared interest and Ford Motors was one of them, Bloomberg reported. The program was meant to revitalize vehicle production in South Africa via tax breaks, according to Tembela Zweni, East London IDZ's executive manager on zone development.

"Suddenly we are getting more interest from companies," said Zweni."They will save on start-up costs because we would have this huge facility." The country had put up ELIDZ in 2002 to further investments as well as open jobs, as the economy continues to struggle on a 25 percent unemployment rate.

On the other hand, South Africa's Department of Trade and Industry also announced November of last year that vehicle production has been down to 10,000 from 50,000 units per year. The government also expressed its great support for the industry to extend beyond 2020, according to the news agency.

Ford Motors has also announced new changes for its US plant, with production for the C-Max and Focus compact MPVs to be transferred beyond the country's border: in Mexico, according to MSN. More speculations on the Wayne, Michigan plant also included the production of a new SUV product or truck, and the closest guess was a Ranger pickup.

Still, opinions are flying on the company's take in reviving the old Bronco (the original was a two-door), to keep up with the 4-door lineup of SUVs today. There's also a big chance for Ford to model the Bronco line similar to the Everest. And that remains to be seen.

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