Samcor becomes Ford of Southern Africa

2000-08-21 23:10

Samcor will in future be known as Ford of Southern Africa, as was confirmed on Monday with the display of a gigantic signboard on the companyÆs administrative building in Waltloo in Pretoria.

"This is the fulfilment of a dream. It is the home-coming of the Ford motor company in South Africa," said Lewis Booth, former managing director of Samcor, at the inauguration on Monday.

Booth, president of FordÆs Pacific and African operations since earlier this year and a man who made a tremendous contribution to the reinforcement and repositioning of Samcor in the South African motor industry, thanked Anglo American as shareholder of Ford of Southern Africa for the companyÆs partnership, particularly from the time that Ford once again entered the South African motor industry in 1994.

In 1988, when Ford decided to withdraw from South Africa as a result of political pressure, Anglo stepped in and became a shareholder of Samcor.

Minister of Trade and Industry Alec Erwin said at the inauguration that BoothÆs aim of having Ford of Southern Africa produce top quality products that can compete globally is important because it will enable South Africa to attract more companies to manufacture their products here.

Marcos de Oliveira, CEO and group managing director of Ford of Southern Africa, has over three thousand employees and is a big role player in the local motor industry.

He said Ford owed Anglo a great debt of gratitude for having been a loyal and wise partner, even after Ford had acquired a 45% shareholding in Samcor in 1994 and then announced in February this year that it was to become a majority shareholder in Samcor.