- Production to start at Ford’s SA’s Silverton plant
- R3bn investment, upgrades, for SA operation
- SA-built bakkies destined for Europe, Middle East
PRETORIA, South Africa – Production of the 2019 Ford Ranger bakkie has officially started at the automaker’s Silverton plant in Pretoria and, Ford says, ”will bring a raft of product upgrades and refinements to one of South Africa’s best-selling vehicles”.
More good news for the industry: they will also be exported across Africa, the Middle East and Europe – making Pretoria a hub for pretty much worldwide supply.
Neale Hill, MD for Ford’s sub-Sahara Africa region, told The Corner in a media release: ”There’s been an investment of more than R3-billion in our South African operation, including extensive plant upgrades, to through the past 18 months.
”We’re delighted to see the first Rangers models coming off our production line. It’s an extremely important and exciting year for the Ranger – especially with the launch of Ranger Raptor.”
The new bakkies will deliver more power through advanced tech and used less fuel.. Hill added: ”We’re confident of setting a benchmark in the extremely competitive bakkie segment.”
Top-end units – among them the Raptor – will have a new two-litre bi-turbo diesel engine (to be assembled at Ford Port Elizabeth) capable of 157kW/500Nm – up by 10kW and 30Nm over the outgoing 3.2 TDCi – and reduce fuel burn by as much as nine percent.
A 10-speed auto will be available.
Other derivatives will have a two-litre (single) turbo engine capable of 132kW/420Nm ahead of the same 10-speed. Other models will continue with the 2.2 and 3.2 Duratorq TDCi engines and current ‘boxes.
Body styles will be single- and double-cab, or Super Cab.
‘LOTS OF HYPE ON RAPTOR’
Ford adds: ”Pre-collision assistance and self-parking and an info/audio system with satnav and voice control will continue to be available.
Hill again: “Theres a lot of hype around the Raptor. It will fill an empty space in the market from the second quarter of 2019 as the first true performance model in the segment.”
Raptor features will include self-adjusting shock-absorbers and a ”terrain management” system, all riding on a ”toughened, reinforced, chassis with powerful disc brakes and BF Goodrich tyres”.
- More details, including full specifications, model range and pricing, will be released at launch.