The all-new Ford Ranger bakkie has made its African debut at the Nampo Harvest Day festival in Bothaville, one of the largest agricultural shows in the southern hemisphere. While the all new Rangers will be launched in the fourth quarter of 2011, Ford SA wanted to show the new truck to the farmers of the nation. Jeffery Nemeth, president and CEO of Ford SA, said: "The all--new Ranger delivers outstanding on and off-road performance and has the hauling and towing capability many of our customers need - especially those in agriculture sector."The producers and the agriculture community are very important to us, so we built a vehicle especially to show at Nampo."'PROVEN EXPERIENCE'Ford's Silverton plant is ramping up to produce the Ranger for delivery towards the end of 2011."The launch is on schedule," Nemeth said. "We are verifying all our processes and working closely with our suppliers to make sure we exceed the expectations of our customers by delivering a high-quality, fuel-efficient, extremely capable pick-up. Ford’s proven experience and knowledge of what's important in a compact pick-up will deliver a Ranger with a depth of character evident in the interior craftsmanship and purposeful design, providing uncompromised comfort, convenience and connectivity. NOT JUST A BAKKIE - IT MEANS JOBS: Ford SA expects the Ranger and other associated projects to create 700 000 jobs over 15 years. Ford SA is investing R3-billion to transform its Struandale engine plant and the Silverton assembly plant through extra capacity and upgraded technology. Silverton will increase its annual capacity to 110 000 vehicles for the Ranger. Struandale, the global production hub for the Puma engine, will grow capacity to 220 000 engines to produce Ford’s new diesel.700 000 JOBSThis investment will increase local content from 35 to 65 percent and will drive a host of additional supplier investment and new jobs in the component supply base for South Africa. Ford SA launched a world-class facility at Silverton in February 2011 to provide skills development and training to help develop small businesses by providing professional support and growth opportunities.The combined investment in the new Ranger programme, Puma engine development and the skills centre should create 700 000 direct and indirect jobs over the next 15 years.Nampo Harvest Day attracted more than 650 exhibitors from eight countries and 68 900 visitors over its four days.