Ford South Africa ‘a true global player’

29 November 2010US ambassador to South Africa Donald Gips, visiting Ford’s engine plant outside Port Elizabeth, praised the workers for the part they played in securing an international engine contract, describing the US carmaker’s local arm as a “true global player”.Gips and Bill Lehmberg, economic officer at the US Consulate General in Cape Town, visited the plant recently in order to gain first-hand insight into the massive investment in the facility in the build-up to the production of the new-generation Puma diesel engine.Important investment in SAIn a statement last week, Ford said it was investing more than R3-billion in the Struandale engine plant in Port Elizabeth for the Puma engine, as well as in the Silverton assembly plant in Pretoria for the production of the new-generation Ranger compact pick-up – with most of the capacity destined for export markets when the projects came on line in 2011.“Ford has made an important investment in South Africa, and as my role is to promote more investment and trade between our two countries, I wanted to see the progress first hand,” Gips said. “It has been a wonderful experience to witness the transformation of the Struandale engine plant.“The thing that struck me most during our tour of the plant is that this is a truly global economy. You see machines made in Germany, engineers from America and India, cast-iron components from Brazil, all put together as part of this global product that is the new Puma engine.”Guaranteeing Ford’s futureGips also congratulated the Struandale engine plant team on the effort they had put into winning the contract for the high-tech new Puma engine, having competed against numerous other top-ranked plants around the world.“It’s clear that it took a remarkable effort and commitment to win the Puma contract for the Struandale engine plant and, importantly, this has guaranteed Ford’s future in this region,” Gips said.“It really is a win-win situation for South Africa and the US that Ford is able to produce the engine and components here and, in doing so, create jobs and become a true global player.”Unique privilageThe Puma engine programme will see the Port Elizabeth facility producing 220 000 component sets (engine head, block and crankshaft) annually as of April 2011, 75 000 of which will be used for the assembly of complete engines for shipping to Silverton for the new Ranger, beginning in June 2011.The Struandale engine plant enjoys the unique privilege of being the sole source of machined components for the new generation Ranger, and shares the engine assembly volume for the Puma programme.SAinfo reporterWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo material

More Songs Doesn’t Make Raditaz Better Than Pandora [UPDATED]

If you’ve spent more than a few tracks worth of time playing with Pandora, you know that you can’t access every song or even every artist you may be into. You can find plenty of music by the Pixies, for example, but another favorite from my college days, Liz Phair, is nowhere to be found on the service.Raditaz launched earlier this month with promises 14 million licensed tracks, compared to the “more than 900,000” currently offered by Pandora. But guess what?Still no Liz Phair. And now, seemingly, no Pixies either.I spent the weekend playing with Raditaz and comparing it to Pandora, which I have been a fan of for close to a year. Neither service compares to the ease of hearing what you want, when you want in a way that Spotify does. But Pandora and Raditaz are both easily accessible on the Web and on mobile phones (Spotify requires the download of a desktop app), and both Pandora and Raditaz promise to help you discover new music based on your preferences and how you rate the songs you listen to.Update: Raditaz spokesman Tom Brophy emailed to say that the lack of Pixies tunes was because of a “snafu” with Warner Music and that it should be resolved in about a week. And the service does, in fact, have those Liz Phair songs I can’t get on Pandora.“I actually will admit that you made some fair points,” Brophy said in an email. “We are in the process of significantly upgrading the platform, and in particular, the algorithm that powers Raditaz stations. Our upgrade should be completed in approximately 30 days. We are also doing some work on better integrating Likes and Dislikes.”Why Pandora Is BetterIn my tests, Raditaz loaded slower than Pandora. Overall, in fact, the Raditaz interface was rather ugly and not nearly as intuitive as Pandora. Like the music I listened to, of course, the latter is a matter of personal opinion. But Pandora does have some objective pluses, including lyrics for many of the songs, as well as artist bios.Beyond that, I felt that Pandora did a better job of finding music I like based on my rankings. When I gave a “thumbs down” on Raditaz for a Cake song, Raditaz immediately loaded another Cake song. Substitutions for artists not on the service was also weak: I was given Sheryl Crow and Kate Bush when I set up a station based on Liz Phair. At least Pandora gives me slightly better substitutes, including Lily Allen and the Cowboy Junkies as options similar to Liz Phair.I may be imagining this, but I also felt that, overtime, Pandora is much quicker about learning what I like and don’t like and turning me on to new artists. After spending several hours listening to Raditaz, I can’t say I’ve found any new music that I like: that just doesn’t happen when I spend the same amount of time listening to Pandora. Related Posts 4 Keys to a Kid-Safe App 9 Books That Make Perfect Gifts for Industry Ex… Tags:#music#web Why Raditaz Is BetterBeyond its promise of more songs, Raditaz also promises no audio ads (both sites have ads on their Web interface; Pandora also plays an audio ad every few songs).Raditaz also geo-locates listeners to create “most popular” by location lists – something I frankly could live without. So far, the geo-location seems more about targeting ads than it is about improving listener experience.And perhaps its biggest sell is that, unlike Pandora, you can skip through as many tracks as you want. Pandora, because of its licensing agreements, only lets you skip through so many songs in any given listening session.Then again, unlimited skips is something I really needed to make it through my test of Raditaz since it missed so frequently in trying to match me up with music I actually wanted to listen to. 5 Outdoor Activities for Beating Office Burnout dave copeland 12 Unique Gifts for the Hard-to-Shop-for People…