Ford Aims to Launch New Factories in Africa

Published Date : Aug 05, 2014

Ford analysts predict car sales in Africa to increase 40% by 2020, explaining the company’s interests in expanding itself in the continent.

Jim Benintende, the head of operations for Ford’s Middle East and African divisions, states that Africa is looking at a surge in economy. Africa claims to have the lowest income and the fastest growth, according to the African Development Bank Group.

Ford plans to follow other American corporations like General Motors Co., who will invest USD 2 billion by 2018 into African operations, while doubling their workforce.

Benintende is currently touring Africa, looking for feasible places to expand Ford’s presence. He will run the regional operations this year and create a market strategy for Mark Fields, Ford’s Chief Executive Officer. Difficulties include the Ebola outbreak and civil unrest in Nigeria.

Ford will launch 25 new models into the African market, including the Mustang, Fusion, and Focus. The Mustang will be unveiled in the district of Sandton, Johannesburg, known as the richest district in South Africa. This will also mark celebrations of the Mustang’s 50th anniversary. The Ranger being the most popular car by Ford in Africa, the automaker plans to release a stronger model to meet the industry requirements, such as in mining.

Obstacles in the South African market include a wave of strikes in their automotive industry, stalling car productions for most of the bigger companies.

Ford currently sells 200,000 vehicles within the Middle East and African market. Africa holds 2% of global car sales, while 37% of the total African sales are concentrated in South Africa.