PRODUCTION UNDERWAY: Ford SA has started production of its Everest SUV in South Africa. Image: QuickPic
Pretoria - Ford’s Everest sport utility vehicle (SUV) will see an expanded range go on sale locally in November 2016.
With Job 1 for Everest production commencing on October 5th at the Silverton assembly in Pretoria, the company says it signals the start of a new era for Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa (FMCSA) as it now becomes a two-vehicle assembly facility that also produces the Ranger for export to 148 markets in Africa, the Middle East and Europe.
Confidence in production
Ockert Berry, vice-president of operations, said: “The start of local production for the Ford Everest is another major milestone for FMCSA’s Manufacturing division in implementing Ford’s Global Facility and Process Standards."
The Everest will be produced for the South African market, and exported to countries across Sub-Saharan Africa.
This follows a combined R2.5-billion investment in Ford’s local operations for the Everest and Ranger programmes, creating approximately 1200 new jobs at FMCSA, and within its supplier network.
READ: Ford invests R2.5bn to build new Everest in SA
Tracey Delate, general marketing manager for FMCSA, said: “Local production has now enabled us to expand the offering with an additional six model derivatives, two engine choices, three trim levels, the option of manual and automatic transmissions, as well as two and four-wheel drive versions.
“The addition of the 2.2 TDCi XLS and XLT models in particular will appeal to family and lifestyle buyers, offering exceptional value for money matched to an outstanding level of standard safety features, smart technologies and proven all-terrain capability."
More choices and options
While the 147kW 3.2-litre Duratorq TDCi engine remains the flagship of the range for this seven-seater SUV, the revised Everest line-up will be enhanced with the 2.2-litre Duratorq TDCi engine also found in the Ranger.
It produces 118kW/385Nm of torque, and can be specified with a manual or automatic gearbox.
READ: Bakkie review: Is the Ford Ranger’s new auto’ box worth it?
Along with the existing 3.2 TDCi Automatic four-wheel drive derivatives - in XLT and Limited specification levels - a third 4x4 model is set to join the mix in the form of the 2.2 TDCi XLS, equipped with a six-speed manual.
Ford SA says that five all-new two-wheel drive Everest models will join the line-up for the first time. This includes a total of four 2.2 TDCi versions in a choice of either manual or auto, as well as the option of the mid-level XLS trim or the luxuriously appointed XLT. Topping the 4x2 range is a new 3.2 TDCi XLT Automatic.
Full details of the expanded Ford Everest line-up will be announced closer to the launch.