Ranger exports from Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa’s (FMCSA’s) Silverton plant reached an all-time high in 2018, with the company shipping 68 364 units to export markets.
This is a 16.2% increase compared with 2017.
Combined Ranger production for the domestic and export markets reached 98 505 units in 2018 – 8 383 more than the previous year.
This is the highest yearly production volume to date for Ford’s South African operations, with December 2018 reaching a new monthly record of 11 091 combined Ranger sales.
“It was an extremely busy and successful year for our export business in 2018, as we attained our highest-ever production volume for the Ford Ranger, and boosted our export volumes to retain our undisputed leadership of the light commercial vehicle export segment,” says Ford Motor Company sub-Saharan Africa region MD Neale Hill.
“This was achieved despite the extensive changes and upgrades implemented at the Silverton assembly plant over the past 18 months,” he adds.
“We invested over R3-billion in preparation for even higher production capacities for 2019 and beyond, as well as for the imminent launch of the first-ever Ford Ranger Raptor, along with the new Ranger and Everest models due later this year.”
The Ranger seems to be growing increasingly popular among European buyers.
The bulk of Ranger exports from South Africa in 2018 were destined for European markets, with Ford of Europe notching up a final tally of 51 500 sales in the 20 traditional European Union markets.
These markets include Austria, Belgium, Britain, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Romania, Sweden and Switzerland.
According to the US car maker, this sales number gave the Ranger the lead in the pickup segment, claiming a 27.7% market share for the first 11 months of 2018 – up 1.4 percentage points year-on-year.
“The success of the Ranger is reflected in the market share it enjoys in Europe, a region that represents some of the most critical and fastidious customers in the world,” says Hill.