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Ford invests R5.2bn to produce hybrid Rangers at Silverton, celebrates 100 years in SA

Ford invests R5.2bn to produce hybrid Rangers at Silverton, celebrates 100 years in SA

16th November 2023

     

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From Creamer Media in Johannesburg, this is the Real Economy Report.

Sashnee Moodley:

As it celebrates 100 years of existence in South Africa, Ford Motor Company South Africa has announced it will invest R5.2-billion at its plant in Silverton to start producing plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) Ranger models from late next year. Marleny Arnoldi attended the centenary celebrations.

Marleny Arnoldi:

The latest investment by Ford will not only see its existing facility expanded to accommodate the unique chassis configuration of the plug-in in hybrid Ranger, but also the construction of a dedicated battery pack assembly facility.

Ford will be making changes to its welding equipment, robots, control systems, conveyors and skids, since an additional 500 kg weight to the vehicle needs to be accommodated.

The PHEV Ranges are destined for export to Europe, Australia and New Zealand, which will be the first time in two decades that the Silverton plant will be supplying vehicles to the Australian and New Zealand markets.

This model will deliver more torque than any other Ranger model, thanks to a 2.3 litre Ford EcoBoost turbo petrol engine paired with an electric motor and rechargeable battery system. It will be able to drive about 45 km without using fuel or producing tailpipe emissions.

Ford Middle East & Africa operations VP Ockert Berry tells us more about why the South African operations were chosen to manufacture these Rangers.

Ford Middle East & Africa operations VP Ockert Berry…

Marleny Arnoldi:

The PHEV Rangers will provide all the towing and payload capability that is expected of a Ranger, along with Pro Power Onboard that enables customers to power their tools and appliances on a work site or remote campsite by plugging them into power outlets that are embedded in both the carbo bed and the carbon of the vehicle.

Berry elaborates on his expectations for the local market and initial production quantities.

Ford Middle East & Africa operations VP Ockert Berry…

Sashnee Moodley:

Ridesharing and delivery company Uber recently celebrated 10 years of operations in South Africa, where the company highlighted its contributions to the economy and announced some new products and services on offer. Darren Parker tells us more.

Darren Parker:

Since starting operations in South Africa in 2013, Uber has provided thousands of unemployed South Africans with a means to make a living. The company aims to make even more jobs available going forward, partly through a significant investment into development of the township economy in partnership with government.

Uber sub-Saharan Africa GM Kagiso Khaole…

Uber Eats sub-Saharan Africa GM Nakampe Molewa…

Darren Parker:

Arguably the biggest announcement of the day was that Uber would be introducing an electronic scooter fleet to operate its new same-day delivery service, Uber Package service. The e-scooters will feature a unique battery swapping capability, allowing riders to swap out their batteries within second rather than having to wait for them to recharge.

The new electric scooter delivery vehicles will come in two forms. The medium-speed version has a 1.5-kW battery with a 55-km/h top speed and a range of about 90 km, while the other will have a 4-kW battery and a range of about 110 kms per charge, reaching a top speed of 95 km/h.

Uber sub-Saharan Africa GM Kagiso Khaole…

Darren Parker:

Several other new products were introduced at the event as well. One of these new products is a geofenced food ordering product called Uber Live that allows customers to order food and drinks while at sporting events, concerts, and music festivals.

Uber Eats sub-Saharan Africa GM Nakampe Molewa…

Darren Parker:

Uber also introduced a new subscription service model called Uber One, which allows customers to have access to Uber's offerings in one place for R500/y or R50/m. This allows subscribers to get free deliveries on eligible food and grocery orders, as well as a 0% service fee on eligible orders.

Uber Eats sub-Saharan Africa GM Nakampe Molewa…

Darren Parker:

Uber also announced the launch of Uber Store Pick-Ups, which would enable users to book a delivery person to collect any prepaid items from any store. In addition, Uber is expanding Uber Van to Cape Town, its luxury rideshare offering Uber Black to Durban, and the addition of Reserve Airport Pickup for its UberX, Uber Comfort, and Uber XL rides.

Sashnee Moodley:

That’s Creamer Media’s Real Economy Report. Join us again next week for more news and insight into South Africa’s real economy. Don’t forget to listen to the audio version of our Engineering News daily email newsletter.

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter

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