Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa has secured the contract to export its RoCam engine to selected South American markets from February 2005.

Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa has secured the contract to export its RoCam engine to selected South American markets from February 2005.

Deborah Coleman, chief executive and group managing director of FMCSA, made the announcement in Port Elizabeth on Thursday. It follows less than a month after the news that South African RoCam engines would be fitted to the StreetKa roadster and SportKa in Europe.

Exports from the manufacturer's Port Elizabeth plant were initially planned for India, but have since expanded to Russia, China, Europe and now Brazil, Mexico and Venezuela. The facility has a production capacity of 240 000 units per year.

Ford will be spending an additional R4-million on the plant to be able to supply six derivatives of the engine to South America. Coleman said these exports were expected to reach 125 000 units a year by 2009.

Currently, South Africa and Brazil are the only suppliers of the RoCam engine. Exports to Brazil will supplement those made at the RoCam plant in that country. South Africa will be the only source of RoCam engines to Mexico and Venezuela.

Ford's decision to build the RoCam in Port Elizabeth initiated a number of major investments by suppliers such as Murray and Roberts Foundries, Visteon, and Bel-Essex.

"The South American order has also created new opportunities for components investors in South Africa and, with this additional capacity, it becomes even more attractive to be part of the RoCam supply chain," Coleman said.