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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The South African Motor Corporation, more commonly known as Samcor, was a South African car manufacturer created in 1985 through the merger of Ford Motor Company of Canada's South African subsidiary and Sigma (previously known as Amcar),[1] which produced Mazdas for the local market.[2]

As a result of the merger, Ford and Mazda began to share models in South Africa, as they already did in other markets. For example, in 1986, the European-sourced Ford Escort was replaced by the Laser and Meteor based on the Mazda 323.[3] Similarly, in 1993, the Ford Sierra was replaced by the Telstar, based on 626.[4] However, this badge engineering proved unpopular with some buyers in South Africa.[5]

In 1988, Ford divested from South Africa and sold its 42 per cent stake in Samcor, although it would continue to sell Ford-branded automobile components for assembly and sale in the country.[6]

In addition to Ford and Mazda products, Samcor also assembled Mitsubishi commercial vehicles,[7] with the Mitsubishi L300 minibus being badged as the Ford Husky.[8]

In 1994, Ford (USA) bought a 45 per cent stake in Samcor,[7] and in 1998, bought the remaining share, renaming the company Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa.


Ford South Africa was based in Port Elizabeth (now part of the Eastern Cape province) and had been operating since 1923. In the early 1980s, it had both a vehicle assembly plant and an engine plant in Struandale, together with an older assembly plant in Neave. After the merger with Sigma and the formation of Samcor, the engine plant continued to be operated by Samcor and in 2015 is still operating under Ford ownership. Both the assembly plants were closed and all vehicle production transferred to Samcor's Silverton Assembly Plant in Pretoria. The Struandale assembly plant was subsequently sold to Delta Motor Corporation (General Motors).

In 1984, after undergoing losses over the past two years, Sigma was restructured into a new company known as Amcar.[9] The following year, it was merged with Ford South Africa to create the South African Motor Corporation (Pty) Ltd., known as Samcor for short.[10] In 1988, Ford Canada divested its equity interest in Samcor and donated most of it to the Samcor Employees' Trust.[11] However, Samcor continued to build Ford as well as Mazda and Mitsubishi products.[12]

Silverton Assembly Plant

The Silverton Assembly Plant (25°43′21″S 28°20′06″E) is located on Simon Vermooten Road, in an industrial area on the outskirts of Silverton. It is approximately 15 km (9 miles) east of Church Square, the centre of Pretoria. The township of Mamelodi is nearby, and many of Samcor's labour force came from there.

On the main site is the assembly plant itself and two office administration buildings. Adjacent is the Parts & Accessories warehouse which includes the Customer Service offices. Samcor also used to have a separate design studio and Service Training facilities, both in nearby Silvertondale. Both were closed in the 1990s.

Originally built in 1961 for Chrysler, early models assembled at Silverton included the Chrysler Valiant and the Peugeot 504. As of 2015, the assembly plant is still operating under Ford ownership. It now assembles only the Ford Ranger pick-up and, in smaller numbers, the similar Mazda BT-50.


Although Samcor's exports were mainly confined to Southern Africa, from 1991 to 1993, it exported the South African version of the Mazda 323 to the UK, as the Sao Penza.[13][14] However, just over 1,000 were sold and as of March 2017 just one remains, albeit in an unroadworthy state.[15]

Namibia, formerly South African-administered South West Africa, was considered by Samcor to be part of the domestic dealership network.[16]

The Samcor corporate logo was oval-shaped, similar to the Ford logo. Initially, both monochrome and colour versions were used. The colour version consisted of three horizontal bands of orange, white and blue with "SAMCOR" on the middle band. These were the main colours used on the old pre-1994 South African national flag. After the introduction of the new national flag, the colour logo was dropped and only the monochrome version used.

The logos were mainly used on internal documentation and business cards. Vehicles were not badged as Samcor, but the Samcor logo and name was used on Vehicle Identification (VIN) plates.

See also


  1. ^ Ford Divesture Plan Readied For S. Africa, Chicago Tribune, June 15, 1987
  2. ^ South Africa's Shrinking Auto Industry, Chicago Tribune, October 25, 1985
  3. ^ Financial Mail, Volume 104, Issues 5-9, page 221
  4. ^ Doing Business in South Africa, Jonathan Reuvid, Kogan Page, 1995, page 270
  5. ^ Ford, Mazda Zoom Apart, CAR magazine, September 1st 2002
  6. ^ Ford Discussing Plans to Divest in South Africa : Firm Would Give 24% Stake to Workers, But Maintain a Presence, Los Angeles Times, June 15, 1987
  7. ^ a b Apartheid Gone, Ford Back in South Africa, New York Times November 29, 1994
  8. ^ 1987 Ford Husky Van Ad ( Mitsubishi L300 Van ) - South Africa
  9. ^ Financial Mail, Volume 93, Part 1, 1984, page 445
  10. ^ Press Digest, Issues 72-94, FOSATU, 1985
  11. ^ South Africa News Update, South African Consulate-General, 1993, page 5
  12. ^ International Motor Business, Volumes 149-152, Economist Intelligence Unit, 1992, page 92
  13. ^ International Motor Business, Volumes 149-152, Economist Intelligence Unit, 1992, pages 85-92
  14. ^ BBC Top Gear 10 Forgotten cars - Sao Penza
  15. ^ Smith, Olly. "SAO PENZA - How Many Left?". Retrieved 2011-08-07.
  16. ^ Unified List of United States Companies with Investments or Loans in South Africa and Namibia, Roger Walke, Pacific Northwest Research Center, Richard Knight, Africa Fund (New York, N.Y.), United Nations Centre Against Apartheid, The Africa Fund in cooperation with the United Nations Centre Against Apartheid, 1987

External links

This page was last edited on 25 December 2020, at 17:59
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