TRAINING ABROAD: Nearly two dozen Ford SA staffers visited the automaker's Thailand plant to learn the production process for the new Ranger. Image: Ford SA
• SA staff exposed to Thai training
• Highest global standards
• Ranger 2015 top-selling vehicle in SA
PRETORIA, South Africa -In the build-up to the launch of the new Ford Ranger, scheduled for release later in 2015, 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, a total of 20 employees, visited the Auto Alliance vehicle assembly plant in Rayong, Thailand, between October 2014 and April 2015, Fprd said.
1 OF 3 PLANTS
The plant, about 180km south of Bangkok, is one of three around the world responsible for producing the current Ford Ranger, in conjunction with the Ford Silverton Assembly Plant in Pretoria, as well as Ford's Pacheco plant in Argentina.
Mark Shkoukani, Silverton Assembly Plant manager, who led the overseas training exercise, said: "It’s always a great benefit for any manufacturing team to visit another Ford facility from a learning point of view. 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.
Shkoukani said: "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.
"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."
Ford says 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. Updates for the new model include a vast array of 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.