Ford, U.S. Based Car Company Eyes Africa For Expansion

With an ever growing consumer and middle class, people throughout Africa are earning more spending power and love for brand products. Ford seeing the huge market potential, is increasing its investment and presence in Africa. Africa is the last untapped big market for major corporations and Ford has announced 17 new vehicles designed for sub-Saharan Africa. The models, all to be introduced by 2016, draw on Ford’s car heritage and global vehicle architectures deigned for the African consumer in mind.

“Middle East and Africa is the final frontier for global automotive growth,” said Ford’s regional chief Jim Benintende. According to Ford’s projections, car sales are expected to grow by 40% in the coming decade in the region. Ford isn’t the only car manufacturer looking to expand in Africa. PSA Peugeot Citroen, which is French based, reopened closed planet in Nigeria. Chinese brands are also increasing their presence . GM, Toyota, Nissan, and Mercedes-Benz have all over the years paid more attention, increased investment in Africa, after seeing all it’s potential. Ford is making sure that they aren’t left in the slow lane trying to catch up with the competition.

Johannesburg International Motor Show 2011

Johannesburg recently held its annual motor show. The show (also popularly known as the Joburg Motor Show) is the single largest international automotive event in Southern Africa.  The exhibition (held once every two years) runs in conjunction with two additional shows ‘Auto Shop’ and the ‘Johannesburg Truck Show’ which collectively offer a complete representation of the motor industry, serving Sub Saharan Africa and South Africa as host country. This event takes place at the MTN Johannesburg Expo Centre, Nasrec, Johannesburg, and is a comprehensive automotive lifestyle show case.

Here is a video promo of the event

The African car industry is poised for growth as more people move up the social economic class.  The new consumers throughout the continent are a bright spot for car companies such as Mercedes Benz, Nissan, Ford and General Motors.

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Ford invests in South Africa

In an effort to beef up its presence against its competitors in growing emerging markets, Ford will invest in South Africa as an export hub.

Ford Motor Co. is making multi-million-dollar investments in two major export hubs in Asia and Africa, as part of an effort to beef up its presence in fast-growing emerging markets. On Thursday, Ford announced a $450 million outlay to build a new passenger car plant in Thailand. The plant is expected to provide a boost to the Thai auto industry and help an economy racked by months of political turmoil.

Next week, Ford will unveil plans to increase production capacity at a plant in South Africa, enabling the company to export more Ford Ranger trucks to Europe and other markets. The company has no plans to import the global version of the popular truck to the U.S. market, a Ford executive said.

“Frankly we’re maxed out. We have more sales potential than we can build,” Joe Hinrichs, Ford’s president for Asia-Pacific and Africa, said of Ranger production. “The next generation Ranger will be also built in South Africa and will be a great opportunity for us to expand our capacity for Ranger globally.”

The investments follow Ford’s strong earnings in the first quarter, when it reported $2 billion in net income. Despite its improved bottom line, the auto maker still faces a number of challenges, including $31.3 billion in debt and sluggish auto markets in the U.S. and Europe.

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