Regional Review > 

Middle East and Africa

We continue to go further in the region through business growth, building a portfolio of vehicles offering quality, fuel efficiency, safety, smart design and value, and innovating to solve mobility challenges facing our cities and communities.

At a Glance

4 primary sub-regions: Middle East, North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa and Southern Africa

3,701 employees

1 assembly plant (South Africa) and 1 engine plant (South Africa)

Our Middle East and Africa unit consists of one of the most diverse businesses operations within Ford. In our Dubai office alone, we celebrate over 30 nationalities among 220 employees who provide wide-ranging and inclusive perspectives, reflecting the truly global nature of our organization.

We continue to make excellent progress in our community contribution across the region; including making a dream of mobility-challenged people in South Africa – to gain access to beaches – come true. We have also, proudly, brought a unique version of DSFL to Saudi Arabia in support of the historical change of women in the Kingdom attaining the right to drive.”

Mark Ovenden

Mark Ovenden,President, Ford Middle East and Africa

How We’re Driving Change

Green With a Silver Lining

Ford Middle East and Africa’s headquarters in Dubai, the Al-Wasl Office Complex, has received a silver Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification from the United States Green Building Council. With a total of 50 points, the silver certification identifies the office as a showcase example of leadership in sustainable building design. The building has been home to more than 200 Ford employees since February 2017.

Dealership Conserves Water and Energy

In response to the water and energy consumption crisis in South Africa, Ford dealer Halfway Ford in Johannesburg has invested in solar panels to supply almost all its electricity needs. This has saved up to 16,000 kWh, while a water-harvesting system to collect rainwater will save up to 27,500 liters.

Go Further and Go Green

The Silverton Assembly Plant energy team continues to look for opportunities to implement the company’s energy management operating system (EMOS). “Go Further and Go Green” is all about reducing the environmental impact of energy use at the plant. Energy efficiency has continued to improve, with an impressive 60 percent reduction in kWh per unit from 2011 to 2017. Actions ranged from energy-saving projects and plant optimization to lower energy consumption to the implementation of equipment shutdown activities and an automated building management system (BMS) that reduces energy consumed during non-production hours. As well as continuous energy performance reviews, other initiatives include heat pump retrofits on geysers, LED lighting and the installation of energy-efficient air compressors.

 Case Study

Opening the Highways to All Womankind

In 2018, we began a groundbreaking program in Saudi Arabia: our Driving Skills for Life (DSFL) “For Her” program has been tailored specifically for women. The launch of the inaugural four-day course, hosted on the Effat University campus in Jeddah, follows the ruling by the Kingdom to lift the ban on female drivers.

This special variation of Ford’s award-winning safe driving program for teens and new drivers was specially designed to accommodate Saudi female students embarking on their journey to acquire a driver’s license. With nearly 250 female students participating, it made its global debut in the Kingdom in March 2018, coinciding with International Women’s Day.

  See how our Ford Driving Skills for Life program is helping women gain mobility in Saudi Arabia

In the Middle East alone, nearly 4,000 drivers have had DSFL training since 2011.

Improving Health and Safety on the Assembly Line

The Silverton Assembly Plant in South Africa has undergone major upgrades in 2018. The installation of the new high line in the Pretoria-based factory, for example, has improved ergonomics and prevents the safety risks associated with working underneath vehicles in pits. The new door sub-assembly has made working inside the vehicle easier and eliminated the risk of damaging the doors, while seats are now supplied via a conveyor system in the roof, reducing traffic inside the plant.

Expanding for the Future

We expanded operations at the Struandale Engine Plant in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, this year with a sophisticated new assembly line. It was installed for an all-new diesel engine program that will power the new Ford Ranger when it is launched in 2019. The new assembly hall, located in a totally revamped section of the plant, boasts Ford’s latest, state-of-the-art manufacturing processes that guarantee the highest standards of workmanship, product quality and performance. At the same time, production capacity for the current Duratorq TDCi engine has also been increased. To accommodate the significant production expansion for the two engine programs, a brand new warehouse was also constructed.

Supporting Diversity and Inclusivity in Dubai

Boasting over 30 nationalities among more than 200 members of staff, Ford’s Dubai office is not only diverse, it’s exceptionally inclusive, with cultural understanding and tradition sharing the norm. The young staff take pride in holding numerous events throughout the year, from Eid demonstrations delivered by our Emirati cohort to UAE National Day celebrations and competitions. These have fostered a strong sense of cooperation and friendliness.

Ford Resource and Engagement Centre

Seeing a need in the Mamelodi community – a township in the city of Tshwane, Gauteng – for students who cannot afford university fees to further their education after high school, we established the Ford Resource and Engagement Centre (FREC) located at Ford’s Silverton Assembly Plant in Pretoria. Here, young people can learn new skills, obtain qualifications and develop new talents for free, and since opening its doors in August 2016, FREC has trained more than 325 students in early childhood development, financial literacy and entrepreneurship. The first group of students to complete their qualifications will graduate in June 2018.

 Case Study

Fostering Entrepreneurial Spirit

The Henry Ford Entrepreneurial Academy (HFEA) is one of the most important education initiatives in the region, promoting entrepreneurship as an important economic force and fostering youth and women in businesses especially in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. In 2017, the program expanded its partnerships to include the newly opened Youth Hub in Dubai and the UAE’s Ministry of Affairs, and in 2018, events took place in Ras Al Khaimah and Dubai in the UAE, Casablanca in Morocco, and Riyadh and Jeddah in Saudi Arabia, with a host of new and returning partners.

In Saudi Arabia, which hosted our first female-only HFEA workshops, we support new policies in the Kingdom relating to female entrepreneurship and empowerment. Together with Riyadh’s Princess Noura University, the world’s largest women-only university, and Effat University in Jeddah, HFEA offers aspiring businesswomen an opportunity to fine-tune their entrepreneurial talents.

HFEA has trained close to 300 entrepreneurs across the Middle East and North Africa since its launch in 2015.

Supporting the Local Economy in North Africa

In early 2018, the International Monetary Fund featured Ford Middle East and Africa buyer Imane Nassif in its focus on Tangier’s special economic zone, a promising new center of growth for Morocco. In the YouTube video, Ford is recognized as a leader in the Middle East and Africa, with the knowledge that more jobs and stronger, more inclusive growth can create a better future. Our purchasing office in Tangier develops new sourcing opportunities in North Africa – particularly in Morocco and Tunisia – for our European manufacturing plants.

Creating Jobs in Morocco

Building Homes for Local Communities

The Blue Village addresses the urgent need for safe, secure housing in the informal settlements around Port Elizabeth in South Africa, where most of the houses are temporary structures made from scrap wood and metal. The project provides temporary houses for local residents as an interim measure until proper houses can be supplied by the municipality. In 2018, a further 30 temporary homes will be built.

Ford Conservation and Environment Grants

Receiving financial support from the Ford Conservation and Environmental Grants scheme during 2017, the Morocco-based Go Energyless project is producing and supplying low-cost coolers made of clay and other natural materials to local communities. And in Tunisia, Notre Grand Bleu is protecting the sea turtle population by supplying local fishermen with hand-crafted fishing equipment, and educating them on the dangers of by-catch. The grants program has supported more than 200 projects across the Middle East and Africa since 2000, granting $1.7 million to date.

In 2018, the Ford Conservation and Environmental Grants will include an additional award category, celebrating the 2018 World Environmental Day’s theme of “Beating Plastic.”

Supporting Wildlife Conservation in South Africa

For almost 30 years, Ford has supported conservation efforts in South Africa. The Ford Wildlife Foundation has provided Ford Ranger vehicles to a number of conservation projects during 2018, including Saving the Survivors, enabling the endangered rhino population transportation between locations; the National Coast Project, which aims to stimulate sustainable tourism while protecting South Africa’s extensive and beautiful coastline; and the Delta Environmental Centre, helping it engage community stakeholders in conservation projects in Gauteng.

Ford Realizes Beach Access Dream

Partnering with the Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa (WESSA) and the National Council for Persons with Disabilities, in 2018, Ford South Africa funded the purchase of specially adapted wheelchairs. These can traverse sand, enabling people with physical disabilities to access the beach.

Employees Mobilized During Global Caring Month

Nearly 1,000 Ford employees got to work to assist more than 35 nonprofit organizations in Sub-Saharan Africa and the UAE during Global Caring Month in 2017. In total, more than 12,800 hours were dedicated to making people’s lives better and tackling environmental issues.

 Please see our Annual Report 2017 for further information on our regional business units, including key financial metrics for Middle East and Africa (pdf, 3.52MB).