The event, hosted by Exporters Eastern Cape (previously known as Exporters Club South Africa – Eastern Cape), acknowledges the top export companies across various sectors by virtue of their investment, growth and employment creation in the province.
Ford’s Struandale Engine Plant secured its second consecutive Merit Award in the Best Exporter OEM category for original equipment manufacturers in the automotive industry. The Port Elizabeth plant exports fully assembled Duratorq TDCi diesel engines to North America, India and China, and machines components for export to Argentina and Thailand.
Additionally, its locally assembled engines power the Ford Ranger and Everest which are produced in Silverton, Pretoria, and exported to more than 148 markets in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
“This Merit Award recognises the commitment to excellence from the entire Struandale Engine Plant team, which has enabled us to achieve record volumes and grow our customer base significantly,” said John Cameron, plant manager of the Ford Struandale Engine Plant.
“Despite the growing global demand and resulting increase in volumes, we have improved on our efficiency targets from 88% to 94% in the past year, thus maximising our production capacity and output.”
For the second year in a row, Ford received the IDC Job Creation Merit Award, being praised for its Learnership Programme run in conjunction with MerSETA. The project was initiated in 2012 with just 15 learners, and expanded to 87 by the end of 2016. There are currently 117 learners enrolled in the programme this year, which upskills learners in various areas of the business including mechatronics, office administration and millwright apprenticeship.
A total of 28 qualified learners have gained permanent employment at the Ford Struandale Engine Plant and many others have been successfully employed in Port Elizabeth.
“The Learnership Programme entrenches our commitment to ensure learners are competently trained and skilled to address critical needs within the industry, thus equipping them for future employment opportunities at Ford or within the general marketplace,” Cameron said.