Shawn Govender returns to Ford as Struandale plant manager

TOP JOB: Ford Motor Company SA has appointed Shawn Govender as the new manager of the Struandale engine plant
TOP JOB: Ford Motor Company SA has appointed Shawn Govender as the new manager of the Struandale engine plant
Image: Supplied

About 13 years after he left the company to pursue other job opportunities, Shawn Govender has returned to the Ford Motor Company’s Port Elizabeth plant to take up the job of plant manager.

Govender took over the reins in November from John Cameron, who was manager since 2014 and is on a sabbatical.

Ford Motor Company SA  vice-president of operations  Ockert Berry welcomed Govender back.

“We wish him all the best with his appointment in this crucial role,” he said.

“Shawn will be responsible for the daily operations of the Struandale engine plant, from production and manufacturing to driving continuous improvement and working on securing new business for the Port Elizabeth operations.”

Govender said he was excited to be back.

“Ford has evolved rapidly over the years, and the manufacturing technology level at the Struandale engine plant is truly astounding, which is phenomenal for the Eastern Cape,” he said.

“There are plenty of opportunities for new business from a global perspective, and my focus is to significantly drive safety, quality and efficiency improvements within the Struandale plant to make us a truly competitive global power-train manufacturing facility.”

Govender has an established track record with Ford, having joined the company in 1996 as an industrial engineering supervisor before being appointed as production manager a year later.

Following extensive local and international training at Ford in the US, Germany and Thailand, he became the first representative from Ford SA plant to achieve Six Sigma Black Belt certification for lean manufacturing.

He followed this up by achieving his Master Black Belt status — enabling him to play a key role in the improvement of business processes.

This led to him being promoted to quality and process leadership manager for two years, and then being appointed as assistant plant manager at the Struandale plant — a position he held for three years.

Govender joined General Motors as plant manager from 2006 to 2009, and subsequently held several senior positions within the automotive, manufacturing and mining industries, including group operations director for Johnson Controls (2010-2011), COO at Formex Industries (2011-2014) and, most recently, group manufacturing director at Komatsu Mining before returning to Ford.

Govender has a B-Tech Industrial Engineering degree as well as his MBA — both completed at Nelson Mandela University. (NMU).

He is busy with his doctorate at NMU, focusing on the development of a quality and efficiency improvement model for complex manufacturing industries.

He lives in Port Elizabeth with his wife, Saras, and has two children.