LOCALLY-BUILT RANGER: Ford SA CEO Jeff Nemeth (left of the blue oval), Middle East and Africa VP for marketing sales & service, Kalyana Sivagnanam (right) and Middle East and Africa president, Jim Benintende, are joined by members of the Ford
Pretoria - Ahead of the launch of the Ford's new bakkie later in 2015, the first customer-ready Ranger rolled off the production line at the automaker's factory in Silverton, Pretoria.
According to the automaker: "Ford has been verifying quality, processes and suppliers at its facility in South Africa as it prepares to ramp production of the new Ford Ranger, which is exported to 148 markets."
The Silverton factory is one of three around the world responsible for producing the current Ranger, in conjunction with the plant in Rayong, Thailand and Ford's Pacheco plant in Argentina.
New Ford bakkie for SA
The new Ranger will be exported from the Silverton plant to 148 markets around the world. Updates for the new model include a vast array of new technologies matched to improved comfort, refinement, efficiency and quality.
IMAGE GALLERY: 2015 Ford Ranger
Powering the new ranger is choice of four engines (three diesel, one petrol) each mated to either a six-speed manual or auto and with stop/start fuel-saving.
The 3.2 litre Duratorq five-cylinder TDCi diesel has updated exhaust gas re-circulation to improve fuel efficiency, Ford says, by as much as 18%. The 3.2 litre diesel is capable of 147kW/470Nm. The 2.2 litre four-cylinder diesel will be offered, depending on the market, in either 118kW/385Nm guise or 96kW variant.
Read: New Wildtrak: Ford's 'ultimate' Ranger
The new Ranger will be available with Ford's 2.5 litre Duratec petrol capable of 122kW/225Nm of torque.
As part of its expansion plans into the Middle East region and Africa, Ford has partnered with dealer group Coscharis Motors on the assembly project in Ikeja, Lagos state, 750km south-west of the Nigerian capital Abuja.
The assembly of Rangers, using body parts and components imported from South Africa in semi-knockdown (SKD) form, will create about 180 jobs directly and indirectly, and the plant has the capacity to assemble up to 5000 units per year.
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