Ford celebrates 100 years in SA with bevy of new models

Ford announced a host of new models at its centenary celebrations held at its Silverton plant and live streamed to its Struandale Engine Plant in Gqeberha and dealerships nationwide.

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Over and above Ford’s local top management, guests included Ford European management, members of Ford’s US management and even some Ford royalty in the person of Henry Ford’s great-great-granddaughter Elana Ford, currently Ford’s Chief Customer Experience Officer.

Even though it was Ford’s birthday celebrations, it is the South African consumer who is in for huge treats over the next 18 months as the company announced various new models for the local market.

This represents more than R30 billion in investments over the past 13 years as well as the R5.2 billion investment that was announced for the Ranger PHEV, President of Ford Company Africa, Neale Hill, says.

Ford Ranger:

The Silverton plant will produce the first ever plug-in hybrid (PHEV) Ranger in 2024. Ford has invested R5.2 billion to make the PHEV Ranger possible. The company will also build a battery-pack assembly plant right next to the existing plant.

Adjustments will be made to the current assembly line so that the PHEV can be assembled on the same line. The PHEV Ranger will be exported to Europe, Australia and New Zealand. This will be the first time in more than two decades that Ford SA will be exporting vehicles to Australia and New Zealand.

It also came as no surprise that Ford will be enlarging its Ranger family, over and above the new PHEV model. Two new versions, the Ford Ranger Platinum and the Ford Ranger Tremor, can be expected. Substantial changes were made to the chassis and suspensions of the Tremor to make it even more suitable for those seeking adventure while the Platinum will be a more luxurious version.

Ford Ranger Tremor.

Ford Mustang:

Local performance lovers can look forward to Ford bringing the Mustang GT Fastback as well as the Mustang Dark Horse to South Africa in 2024. The GT Fastback is powered by an advance 5.0L Coyote engine and features a 10-speed automatic transmission, while the Dark Horse is touted as the most powerful street legal 5.0L V8 Mustang yet. It has improved aerodynamics, upgraded hardware, new software and kicks out up to 380 kW.

The all-electric Mustang Mach-E – the first production Ford ever developed from the ground-up to deliver pure-electric, zero-emission driving – is coming to South Africa in 2025. With its dual-motor and all-wheel drive battery powertrain, it delivers more torque than any production Ford road-vehicle and can sprint from 0-100 km/h in 3.73 seconds.

Ford Mustang Mach-E
Ford Mustang Dark Horse.

Ford Territory:

Ford will revive the Territory nameplate in South Africa with the latest generation mid-size SUV arriving here during the second quarter of 2024.

It is aimed at young, smart and connected customers and embodies a modern design with a commanding presence, a spacious cabin and advanced technologies that deliver an exciting and progressive customer experience, the company says.

With no resemblance to the Aussie Territory South Africans knew from the early 2000s, the new model’s front-end is framed coast-to-coast by the integrated grille and LED daytime running lights, creating a signature light effect.

The Territory is powered by a 1.8L EcoBoost engine, delivering 140 kW and 320 Nm, in combination with a seven-speed automatic transmission that drives the front wheels.

Ford Territory.
Ford Territory.

Ford Tourneo and Transit Custom:

Local consumers can also expect two new versions of the Tourneo and Transit vans. According to Ford, these two vans were fine-tuned in line with customer feedback on previous incarnations. The new versions of these two vans are aimed at families and businesses respectively.

The new Tourneo Custom has a new platform engineered for maximum versatility and comfort. The Trend model should arrive in the first quarter of 2024, while the Titanium X and Sport variants will be locally available by mid-year. Like the current range, there will be standard and long wheelbase models.

Ford Tourneo Custom.

The enhanced interior specification starts with a flexible new track-mounted seating system in the second and third seat rows, for maximum adaptability when arranging the cabin for people and luggage.

The instrument panel features an ergonomic 13-inch central touchscreen with Ford’s SYNC 4 infotainment system, with wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility. The central screen is complemented by a new digital instrument cluster to create an intuitive, driver-focused cockpit.

Ford Transit Custom.

Under the hood, Ford will use its 2-litre single turbo-diesel engine delivering 131 kW, supported by the new smooth-shifting eight-speed automatic transmission option.

The panel van version, called the Transit Custom, boasts class‑leading a side-load door aperture, which enhances loading, and the side door features a new integrated access step to make entering the load compartment easier.

For the first time, all Transit Custom vans are fitted with a new semi-trailing arm independent rear suspension design to contribute towards the lower floor height and to improve steering precision and handling.

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