Silverton Assembly Plant Employees Undergo Extensive Training in Thailand for New Ranger

  • Key personnel from South Africa exposed to new production processes and opportunities during training at Auto Alliance plant in Rayong
  • Focus on producing new Ranger to the highest global standards
  • Ford Ranger currently the top-selling vehicle in South Africa for 2015

PRETORIA, South Africa, 18 June 2015 –In the build-up to the launch of the new Ford Ranger, scheduled for release later this year, teams of employees from the Silverton Assembly Plant in Pretoria underwent extensive training in Thailand in order to oversee the production process and identify opportunities for the local plant.

Four groups, comprising a total of 20 employees, visited the Auto Alliance vehicle assembly plant located in Rayong, Thailand, between October 2014 and April this year.

The plant, located approximately 180 km south of Bangkok, is one of three facilities around the world responsible for producing the new Ford Ranger, in conjunction with the Ford Silverton Assembly Plant in Pretoria, as well as Ford’s Pacheco plant in Argentina.

“It is always a great benefit for any manufacturing team to visit another Ford facility from a learning point of view,” says Mark Shkoukani, Plant Manager of the Silverton Assembly Plant, who led the overseas training exercise. “This is in line with the One Ford plan, which ensures that all Ford plants around the world are aligned in terms of production processes and standards, and produce the highest quality products regardless of location or market.”

The group also included the Silverton plant’s quality director, Pedro Adams, as well as all the relevant local launch managers, process engineers, product specialists, operators and team leaders.

“Our team was able to assess the impact of this new model on the current production operations and identify enhanced error-proofing opportunities before we commence with pre-production for the new Ranger in South Africa,” Shkoukani says.

“The lessons learned in Thailand have given the team a significant boost ahead of the launch, and have been cascaded throughout the Silverton Assembly Plant. Additionally, all our employees have undergone extensive practical and online training to ensure that we’re able to produce the new Ranger to the highest standards.”

The new Ranger will be launched in South Africa during the fourth quarter of 2015, and will be exported from the Silverton plant to 148 markets around the world. The comprehensive update for the new model includes a vast array of segment-defining new technologies matched to improved comfort, refinement, efficiency and quality.

Currently the Ranger is the best-selling vehicle in South Africa for 2015, having sold more than 3 000 units for the past three months in succession, and topping the overall sales as well as leading the light commercial vehicle (LCV) segment for April and May.

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