“Our locally assembled Ford Ranger has been a huge success in South Africa and internationally, having completely redefined the pick-up segment when it was launched in 2011 and it continued to set benchmarks over the ensuing 11 years,” says Ockert Berry, VP of operations at Ford South Africa.
“Ranger not only placed South Africa on the map as a global production and export hub but also played an important role in expanding the domestic automotive manufacturing sector.”
Local production of the current Ranger was the result of an initial 2009 investment of R3.4bn in Ford’s Silverton Assembly Plant and the Struandale Engine Plant in Gqeberha to supply the domestic market and more than 100 global markets. By 2018, the total investment in South Africa for the Ranger programme had increased to R11bn. This facilitated extensive upgrades, the implementation of new technologies and the capacity of the Silverton plant being expanded in 2016 and again two years later to serve the strong local and international demand for the Ranger.
In 2021 Ford announced the largest single investment in the South African automotive industry of $1bn (R15.8bn ) for the Next-Gen Ranger. The expanded and modernised facilities sustained production of the outgoing Ranger over the past year while ramping up the installed capacity of the Silverton plant, which is now capable of producing 200,000 vehicles per year.
“This brings Ford’s total investment in South Africa to more than R27bn over the past 13 years, which signifies our unequivocal commitment to the country, and our dedication to providing must-have products for our customers around the world,” Berry adds.
“It has also given us the platform to promote economic development and create much-needed job opportunities. We are extremely proud to support 5,500 jobs at Ford South Africa and around 60,000 jobs in the supply chain while contributing more than 1% to South Africa’s total GDP.”
Of the almost 874,000 current-generation Ford Rangers produced at the Silverton Assembly Plant since 2011, more than two-thirds have been supplied to export markets.
“We shipped nearly 603,000 current-generation Rangers to customers around the world, which has consistently positioned the Ranger as South Africa’s leading light commercial vehicle export,” says Tim Day, plant manager of the Silverton Assembly Plant.
“This is a significant achievement for our local operations, our employees and our suppliers as an integral part of Ford’s global manufacturing network.”