Ford Motor is increasing capacity at its South African plant to add production of Volkswagen’s successor to the Amarok pickup.
Ford is developing the Amarok’s successor alongside its next Ranger as part of a partnership between the two automakers that covers light commercial vehicles, midsize pickups and electric and self-driving vehicles.
Ford exports the current Ranger to Europe from the plant from its Silverton plant near Pretoria The company is investing $686 million into the factory to increase annual capacity to 200,000 units from 168,000, Ford said in a statement.
The new investment will support production of the new Ranger for the domestic market and export to more than 100 global markets, starting in 2022, Ford said. The plant also will manufacture VW pickups as part of the Ford-VW strategic alliance, the company said.
The Amarok successor could be exported to Europe along with the Ranger, although neither automaker would not comment on production plans for the VW pickup.
The Ranger was the biggest-selling pickup in Europe last year with a 35 percent market share, Ford said. The company sold 43,128 Rangers in the region in 2020.
VW ended production of the Amarok at its Hanover plant in Germany last year. The factory is being retooled to build the ID Buzz, a modern, full-electric version of VW's Microbus that became a 1960s icon, and flagship electric cars for Audi, Porsche and Bentley.