Production of the new Ford Ranger begins in Africa | Rare Techy
Ford Motor Company’s Silverton assembly plant in Pretoria has become the third plant to begin production of the next-generation Ranger for customers around the world. Production of the Next-Gen Ranger began following a major US$1.05 billion (N$15.8 billion) investment in Ford’s South African operations and supplier tooling.
Built in South Africa, Rangers are exported to more than 100 markets, including Europe. Ford Motor Company now has three production facilities in the International Markets Group (IMG) region that produce the next generation Rangers for global markets, including the Silverton plant in South Africa and two plants in Thailand. The company also has CKD operations in Vietnam and Cambodia to assemble the Next-Gen Ranger, with plants in the US and Argentina set to begin production in 2023.
“Starting production of the Next-Gen Ranger in South Africa underscores our commitment to providing our customers with must-have products not only in South Africa, but around the world,” said Dianne Craig, president of Ford International Markets Group (IMG).
“South Africa is an important part of our global Ranger manufacturing network and it is fantastic to see the US$1.05 billion investment to modernize and transform the Silverton assembly plant to produce the absolute best quality vehicles for customers around the world.
Expanded operations in South Africa will contribute to job creation and economic development, adding 1,200 new jobs for the third shift to support increased production volumes. This means that Ford South Africa employs 5,500 people. Ford’s supplier network will also benefit, as approximately 10,000 jobs will be added across the entire value chain.
Of the total investment of US$1.05 billion, approximately US$686 million (US$10.3 billion) has gone into the transformation and modernization of the Silverton plant, which included the construction of the first on-site stamping plant, a new highly automated body shop and the introduction of the latest vehicle assembly operations for trim, chassis – and at the finish line.
In addition, the world’s only Ford-owned and operated Frame Line was built in the new Tshwane Automotive Special Economic Zone (TASEZ) supplier park adjacent to the Silverton assembly plant. Ford’s investment in tooling for major supplier companies amounted to US$365 million (N$5.5 billion).
In addition to Silverton’s investment, Ford injected US$34 million (N$600 million) into its Struandale engine plant in Gqeberha (formerly Port Elizabeth), which produces all the engines used in South Africa’s next-generation Ranger, and more than 100 in export markets.
Investment in the Struandale engine plant has helped Ford introduce a new 3.0-litre V6 diesel engine programme, which includes cylinder head machining and engine assembly. Upgrades to the next-generation Ranger were also applied to the existing lineup of 2.0 L Single Turbo and 2.0 L B-Turbo diesel engines.
“We’ve invested tremendous effort, resources and the latest technologies to ensure that the next-generation Ranger is truly world-class and that the Silverton plant is on par with the best globally,” said Andrea Cavallaro, director of operations at Ford IMG. .
“We made a number of strategic decisions, including the decision to bring stamping operations and frame manufacturing in-house to ensure full control over manufacturing quality. The process introduced today ensures that the components that go into the assembly line of every next generation ranger are of the highest quality.
Ambitious goals and high confidence for the Next-Gen Ranger are built on a strong foundation laid by the outgoing production model. After all, Ford redefined the pickup segment with the current Ranger.
Launched for the first time in 2011, the label remained one of the leading competitors for the following 11 years, receiving a number of accolades in the process.
“The Ranger’s global success makes it one of Ford’s most important nameplates, sold on every continent,” said Neale Hill, president of Ford Motor Company Africa. “The next generation ranger is sure to raise the bar again and with the start of production at the Silverton assembly plant.”
A total of 873,751 Rangers were produced at the Silverton assembly plant in South Africa. Of these, nearly 603,000 units were exported to more than 100 global markets, consistently making it the largest export of light commercial vehicles from South Africa.
In South Africa, the Silverton plant has also produced the Everest seven-seat sport utility vehicle (SUV) since 2016. However, the Silverton assembly plant will focus on expanding production of the next-generation Ranger, next-generation Everest and next-generation Ranger Raptor. sourced from Thailand.
“We are confident that the Next-Gen Ranger will build on this great success story and create an even stronger legacy in the years to come,” added Hill.