The South African government is prepared to offer Ford Motor Co of South Africa (FMCSA) incentives worth up to R105m (US$14m) in its bid to secure production of the new T6 pickup at its plant in Silverton, economic development minister Firoz Cachalia told reporters in Johannesburg.

The T6 is the global replacement for the Ranger pickup. Its main production base is Thailand currently.

“This support by government is intended to help FMCSA to secure the bid to manufacture the Ford T6 at its plant in Silverton,” said Cachalia.

If its bid was successful, the amount would be paid over a five year period and included R50m to set up a supplier park, R40m for training and R15m for set-up and operational costs.

An estimated 80,000 jobs would be created. The lifespan of the project would be 12 years.

The outcome of FMCSA’s bid to manufacture the T6 should be known this week.

Ford SA also builds a small pickup (‘bakkie’ in local parlance) called the Bantam, based on a previous generation Ford Fiesta. It ships its Focus line to Australia, too.

Cachalia added that BMW SA was involved in a bidding process to manufacture the next generation 3-series at its plant in Rosslyn and said the company would also receive government incentives if successful.

This model, too, has previously been exported from SA with some coming to the UK.