An era has ended and another begun. SA Motor Corporation (SAMCOR) has been officially renamed the Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa.

Marcos S. Oliveira, Chief Executive Officer and Group Managing Director of the new company made the announcement at a function at the company's head office in Silverton, Pretoria.

The renaming of the company follows an announcement earlier this year that Ford Motor Company had entered into an agreement with Anglo American Corporation. In terms of this agreement, Ford Motor Company would increase its investment in South Africa by taking a majority shareholding of 90% in SAMCOR and by increasing its shareholding in Ford Credit South Africa to 50%.

Prior to the agreement, Ford Motor Company and Anglo American each had a 45% shareholding in SAMCOR, with 10% of the shares being held by the SAMCOR Employees Trust.

"Ford Motor Company's decision to increase its shareholding in the company and change the name to Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa reflects the confidence that the company feels in the potential of Southern Africa as a growth platform," says Mr Oliveira.

"The vision of Ford Motor Company is to become the world's leading consumer company for automotive products and services. Southern Africa forms an integral part of Ford Motor Company's global strategy and it is therefore essential that Ford Motor Company has a majority shareholding in its operation in this region."

While the company is upbeat about the future of the country, it's equally positive about the future of the Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa. "The name Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa is our corporate signature," states Mr Oliveira. "It reflects the foundation of trust that supports all of our brands, products, services and actions. It will also represent our core values, such as our commitment to leadership in customer satisfaction, safety, quality, corporate citizenship and environmental responsibility.

"Ford Motor Company is playing and will continue to play a vital and fundamental role in Southern Africa and, with our stable of formidable brands: Ford, Mazda, Volvo, Mitsubishi and Jaguar - as well as Ford Credit, MazdaFin and Volvo Finance, we face a very bright future. Our productivity levels are high and, thanks to the commitment and enthusiasm of our workforce, quality is world class."

"We are developing into a company of winners and we are confident that the future is exceptionally bright for the Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa." concludes Mr Oliveira.