Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa (FMCSA) has announced that the Ford Struandale engine plant will be increasing production capacity of the Duratorq TDCi diesel engine to cater for new demand from the North American market.

The locally produced 3.2-litre Duratorq five-cylinder (i5) turbodiesel engine, which was recently introduced in the new Ford Ranger, will be used in the Transit van when it joins Ford's North American product line-up for the first time in 2013 as the 3.2 litre power stroke diesel. The Transit is Europe's best-selling commercial vehicle.

"The expansion of our Duratorq TDCi production capacity for North America is an exceptionally proud and important achievement for Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa, as it's the first time we will be exporting engines to the United States," explained Jeff Nemeth, FMCSA president and CEO.

"Coming on the back of the extremely successful launch of the new Ranger, this will increase our annual production capacity of the Duratorq TDCi engine by over 31,000 engines per year."

"The addition of the Duratorq TDCi engine production for North America is in line with our focus on leveraging existing capacity and offering global flexibility, as part of the one Ford strategy," stated Satya Banda, plant manager of the Struandale engine plant.

"The expansion programme will see new equipment being added to the current machining and assembly lines, without affecting our current production and global export programme for the Duratorq TDCi engine that powers the New Ranger."

The Duratorq TDCi will be exported to Kansas City assembly plant in Claycomo, which received a US$1.1bn investment for the Transit programme. Transit production, is scheduled to begin in late 2013.