Ford, VW feature prominently in EC exporter awards

29 August 2018 | Web Article Number: ME201811532

Import / Export

FORD and Volkswagen featured prominently in this year’s Exporters Eastern Cape Club Awards, a reflection of the automotive industry’s continued importance to the province’s economy, particularly when it comes to exports.

Ford Motor Company’s Struandale Engine Plant in Port Elizabeth won the ‘Best Exporter OEM’ Award for the third time, while Volkswagen Group South Africa was presented with the SJM Flex Environmenal Award for the sixth time.

The annual awards are hosted by Exporters Eastern Cape and acknowledge the top export companies in the province across various sectors by virtue of their investment, growth and job creation. This year’s ceremony and banquet took place at The Boardwalk Hotel and Conference Centre.

This is the third category win, for original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), for the Ford Struandale Engine Plant, having earned the title in 2013 and 2015, along with Merit Awards in 2016 and 2017.

“Winning the ‘Best Exporter OEM’ Award reflects Ford’s ongoing commitment to the Struandale Engine Plant as an integral part of the company’s global manufacturing network,” said John Cameron, Plant Manager of the Ford Struandale Engine Plant.

“It is through the dedication and commitment of our employees that we have been able to develop and grow, and attract new business as a world-class supplier of machined components and fully assembled engines for the Ford Ranger and Everest export programmes,” he added.

Fully assembled Duratorq TDCi engines are supplied to Ford’s Silverton Assembly Plant in Pretoria which produces the Ranger for export to 148 markets in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The locally sourced engines are also used in the Everest SUV which is assembled for export markets in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Additionally, engines are supplied to North America, India and China, with machined components – comprising the cylinder block, head and crankshaft – exported to Ford plants in Argentina and Thailand.

“It is through our ongoing drive for excellence that we have been able to secure new business as part of the R3-billion investment in production expansion at Ford’s South African operations announced late last year, ensuring our position as a key player and employer in the automotive industry in the Eastern Cape,” Cameron said.

Reflecting on Volkswagen Group South Africa’s success at the awards this year, Chairman and Managing Director Thomas Schaefer said the SJM Flex Environmental Award Category recogises exporters that pursue excellence in environmental management and are ISO 14001 accredited.

“This award is a recognition of our environmental programmes and it emphasizes our continuous efforts in being a responsible corporate citizen,” he added.

In 2010 VWSA introduced an environmental programme, Think.Blue Factory which was aimed at reducing environmental footprint at its manufacturing factory in Uitenhage.

The programme focussed on five main areas, Energy, Waste, Water, CO2 and Solvent Emissions. In 2017, VWSA managed to reduce its Energy consumption by 30%, CO2 by 28%, Solvent Emissions by 31% per vehicle produced. Water consumption was reduced by 54% and waste generation per vehicle dropped by 64%.

The Exporters Club was founded in the Eastern Cape 37 years ago and is aimed at organisations involved in exporting, either directly or indirectly, and for organisations with an interest in exporting. The Club has about 290 organisations on its database which include automotive, pharmaceutical, agricultural and services industries.

The judges for these awards come from varying backgrounds and represent different sectors in the Eastern Cape.

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