Ford unveils new Ranger and celebrates 250 000th Struandale produced engine
Ford South Africa officially unveiled the latest iteration of its top selling Ranger pick-up during a special gala celebration at its Struandale Engine Plant on Friday afternoon.
The unveiling also formed part of the marque’s “Innovation and Mobility” theme for Africa, with the main focus being the developing of innovations relating to connectivity, mobility, autonomous vehicles, big data and an overall emphasis on improving the customer experience”.
“Go Further is Ford’s brand promise, and the dazzling array of new products, high-tech innovations and solutions presented at this amazing event are proof of how Ford is indeed going further and creating an exciting new world,” Ford Motor Company Sub-Saharan Africa President and CEO, Jeff Nemeth, said.
“As much as we are a car company, Ford is also a people company. Our investment in the community across Africa through various health, education and mobility projects is as fundamental to our business as producing vehicles, as this is key to unleashing the potential of the African continent”.
As well as the Ranger, the automaker also revealed details about a number of new models, the announcement of Ranger production in Nigeria, and the celebration of 250 000 engines produced at Struandale since 2011.
Due to go on sale in the fourth quarter of 2015, the restyled Ranger will once again be assembled at Ford’s Silverton plant in Pretoria before the commencing of exports to 148 countries.
Compared to the outgoing Ranger, the newcomer features a redesigned front clip, revised interior now incorporating SYNC 2 in-car connectivity, and a number of safety items such as Lane Keeping Alert and Lane Keeping Aid, Adaptive Cruise Control with Forward Alert, Front and Rear Park Assist and Tyre Pressure Monitoring System.
Updated versions of the current 2.2 and 3.2 TDCi Duratorq engines – featuring revised noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) levels, a reduction in fuel economy, new oil pan and injector clamps as well as a variable vane turbocharger – will again be used.
Ranger production in Nigeria
As part of a partnership with dealer group, Coscharis Motors Limited, production of the Ranger would officially commence in the town of Ikeja, Nigeria during the final quarter of 2015.
The vehicles will be assembled from semi-knockdown kits imported from South Africa with sales only destined for the Nigerian market. Production capacity has been pegged at 5 000 units annually.
“Nigeria is a priority market for us in Sub-Saharan Africa and today’s announcement will allow us to better serve our customers both from a retail point of view, and in terms of vehicle and parts availability,” Nemeth said.
“We are committed to supporting Nigeria’s developing automotive industry and economy together with Coscharis, and are looking forward to being active in the community”.
Struandale Engine Plant reaches milestone
Having celebrated its 50th anniversary in November last year, the Struandale engine plant reached another milestone in August with the production of the 250 000th Duratorq TDCi engine in culminating with Ranger production in Pretoria.
The plant is the sole supplier of engines used in the Ranger and made history last year when it started exporting the 3.2 Duratorq TDCi engine to Kanas City for use in the North American spec Transit van - a first for Ford South Africa.
In addition, the plant also machined its 500 000th component set for the Duratorq TDCi engine programme, comprising the cylinder head, block and crankshaft – for a total of 1.5-million individual components.
“These production milestones represent the dedication and commitment of our local team to produce the highest quality vehicles, engines and components for the local market and our international customers,” Nemeth remarked.
“Our local plants underwent a huge transformation for the Ranger export programme, and we employed Best-in-Ford standards, procedures and quality measures to deliver on our projected targets and volumes as we became a centre of excellence for this vehicle”.
Set to arrive early next year, the new Focus RS is touted as being the most advanced model to sport the famous RS badge. In addition to its innovative all-wheel drive system, the RS will also feature an industry first Drift mode and launch control. Power will come from a brand new 2.3-litre EcoBoost engine that produces 257 kW and 440 N.m of torque.
One of the one most anticipated models the all-new Everest is said to feature a blend of ruggedness and luxury not seen in the body-on-frame SUV market before.
Aside from a new Torque on Demand four-wheel drive system, it will also feature a Terrain Management System and a host of new safety features when it arrives near year end.
Still one of the most popular cars in its current form, Ford will unveil the new Figo for the South African market during the fourth quarter of 2015.
Said to combine contemporary styling with trend-setting technologies, the Figo will go on sale for the first time as either as sedan or hatch.
What is without doubt the most eagerly awaited new model, the first irritation of the right-hand drive Mustang will go on sale in the final half of 2015.
Available initially only in fastback form, the Mustang will be powered by a same 2.3-litre EcoBoost engine as the Focus RS, albeit tuned to deliver 228 kW, and a 5.0-litre V8 with 310 kW on tap.
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