The all new Ford Ranger pickup truck, or bakkie to us South Africans, made its African debut at the NAMPO Harvest Day in Bothaville on Tuesday. The NAMPO exhibition is one of the largest agricultural shows in the southern hemisphere, making it an ideal platform to launch a new bakkie to plenty of prospective customers.
While the all new Ranger will have its market launch in the fourth quarter of 2011, Ford Motor Company South Africa (FMCSA) wanted to show the new truck to the attendees at the NAMPO Harvest Day. “The all new Ranger delivers outstanding on and off-road performance, combined with the hauling and towing capability many of our customers need, especially in the agriculture sector,” said Jeffery Nemeth, president and CEO of FMCSA. “The producers and the agriculture community are very important to us, so we built a vehicle especially to show at NAMPO.”
FMCSA’s Silverton Assembly Plant is ramping up production of the all new Ranger, which will be available by the end of the year. FMCSA is investing R3 billion (US$500 million) to transform its Struandale Engine Plant and the Silverton Assembly plant, adding capacity and upgrading technology. The Silverton Assembly plant will increase its annual capacity to 110 000 vehicles for the production of the all new Ranger. At the Struandale engine plant, the global production hub for the Puma engine, capacity will grow to 220 000 engines to produce Ford’s new diesel engine.
This investment will increase local content from 35 percent to 65 percent and will drive a host of additional supplier investment and new jobs in the component supply base for South Africa. FMCSA launched a world-class Supplier Incubation Facility (SIF) at its Silverton Assembly Plant in Pretoria in February 2011. The SIF will provide skills development and training for Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment companies and help develop small businesses by providing professional support and growth opportunities. The combined investment in the all new Ranger program, Puma engine development and the SIF are estimated to create 700 000 direct and indirect jobs over the next 15 years.