Ford to build 700 000th Ranger in South Africa this year

2nd March 2020 By: Irma Venter - Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor

Ford to build 700 000th Ranger in South Africa this year

Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa (FMCSA) is on track to build its 700 000th Ranger in 2020, says FMCSA operations VP Ockert Berry.

“This is a fantastic achievement for our local plants, our employees and the extensive network of suppliers that support our business.”

Domestic sales of the pickup have surpassed 225 000 Rangers to date, adds Berry.

The Ranger is exported to more than 100 markets worldwide.

“Since we began building the current-generation Ranger in 2011, 400 000 units have been exported around the world,” says Berry.

“Locally assembled Rangers are exported to the sub-Saharan Africa region, North Africa, the Middle East, Europe and several other countries.”

In 2019, the Ford Ranger continued its leadership of exports in the pickup segment in South Africa, with 65 908 vehicles supplied to international customers – 24.9%, or 16 402 units, more than its nearest rival.

This strong demand was primarily from Europe where Ranger notched up its best-ever sales of more than 52 500 vehicles.This was an achievement that helped Ford record its best year for commercial vehicles in the region for the past 25 years.

Since April 2019, Ford has been using a multiport export strategy, with Rangers now also being exported through Port Elizabeth to markets in Europe.

This step was taken to address significant congestion at the Durban harbour’s roll-on-roll-off car terminal, resulting in greater efficiencies and reduced delivery timeframes, says Berry.

The Rangers, which are assembled at Ford’s Silverton plant in Pretoria, are transported to Port Elizabeth by rail.

Transnet Freight Rail infrastructure is used by Port Elizabeth-based manufacturers to transport vehicles to Gauteng, with the return leg now also carrying Rangers.

“We shipped almost 7 000 vehicles through Port Elizabeth in 2019 and, as global demand grows, having a multiport export strategy will be increasingly beneficial,” states Berry.

Fully assembled vehicles aren’t the only Ford shipments departing from Port Elizabeth, as about 168 000 engine component sets are exported to Argentina and Thailand each year from the US manufacturer’s Struandale engine plant.

Fully assembled Duratorq TDCi engines are also supplied to Ford plants in Europe, China and North America.

Ford employs around 4 300 people in South Africa, and supports over 50 000 jobs in the total value chain.