Ford kicks off production of the new Ranger

Ford Motor Company’s Silverton assembly plant in Pretoria has become the third plant to commence production of the next generation Ranger.

Main Image First Next Generation Ranger off the production line 1800x1800

The new model is also assembled in two plants in Thailand, while the Ford Motor Company also has completely knocked down (CKD) assembly operations in Vietnam and Cambodia to assemble the model, with plants in the US and Argentina to commence production in 2023.

The commencement of production of the new Ranger follows an investment of $1.05 billion (R15.8bn) in Ford’s South African operations and supplier tooling in the plant, which now has its highest-ever installed capacity of 200 000 vehicles a year.

Ranger units produced in the Silverton plant will be for customers in South Africa and more than 100 export markets around the world.

Neale Hill, President of Ford Motor Company Africa, said the commencement of production of the next generation Ranger represents the culmination of the hard work and dedication of Ford South Africa’s manufacturing team to modernise and completely transform the company’s local operations.

Hill said the platform for the next generation Ranger launch has been laid down over the last 11 years.

“The outgoing Ranger has had an illustrious career. We produced 837 751 units out of this facility, of which 271 000 of those vehicles found homes here in South Africa.

“Over 600 000 were exported to more than 100 markets across the globe.

“Over the past 11 years, a total R27 billion has been invested in our South African operations to build the capability and the confidence to allow us to gear up for the next chapter in our success story,” he said.

Dianne Craig, the president of Ford International Markets Group (IMG), said South Africa is an important part of Ford’s global Ranger manufacturing network and it is fantastic to witness the $1.05 billion investment being utilised to modernise and transform the Silverton assembly plant to produce vehicles of the absolute best quality for customers around the world.

Hill said the success of the Ranger globally establishes it as one of Ford’s most important nameplates sold in every continent.

“The Next-Gen Ranger is sure to raise the bar yet again, and with the start of production in the Silverton assembly plant, South Africa is proud to play a role in its growth,” he said.

Hill added that a key takeaway from the launch of production of the new model is that Ford South Africa has a long and proud legacy to look back on but, more importantly, it has an even brighter future to look forward to and to protect.

He said the Ranger is one of the most important and highest volume vehicles in Ford SA’s history, and the transformation of the plant over the past three years “is nothing short of extraordinary”.

“As we look forward, it's now the turn of our marketing, sales and servicing colleagues to take the ball and run with it.

“What we need to do is to get these Rangers out to our customers and to respect and cherish all the hard work and effort that the operations team has done to get up to this point.

“The level of excitement and anticipation for the next generation is unbelievable. We already have thousands of orders built on the exciting pre-launch publicity and the hype created around this vehicle,” he said.

The Silverton plant has also been producing the Everest seven-seater sport utility vehicle (SUV) since 2016.

However, with the Silverton plant focusing on expanded production for the next generation Ranger, the next generation Everest and next generation Ranger Raptor will both be sourced from Thailand.

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