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Ford Media Center
JEDDAH, KSA, November 19, 2019 – Ford trucks have been the mainstay of work and business around the world for over 100 years. Since introduction of its first purpose-built truck, the 1917 Ford Model TT, Ford’s trucks are among the most iconic vehicles in the world.
Throughout this rich history, Ford continuously has worked to improve its trucks by listening to truck owners and developing new innovations that improve their ability to get the job done. These innovations give today’s Ford truck owners greater towing and hauling capability, advanced engines for improved efficiency, and driver-assist technologies that make it easier and more convenient to operate.
Nowhere is this more apparent that in the new Ford Ranger. With smarter and more efficient powertrains that offer responsiveness, performance and fuel economy, Ranger is packed with advanced technologies that help drivers work smarter, safer and achieve more.
The multiple-award winning Ranger is designed, tested and built for the region, with global production centred in South Africa, Thailand and the USA.
With a decade of annual sales records, Ranger has come to define the pickup truck segment in Asia-Pacific with its unique combination of toughness, capability, smart technologies, fuel efficiency and bold design.
In 2018, Ranger celebrated an exceptional year across the region, with its best ever best-ever full-year performance in Thailand, the Philippines and New Zealand. It also maintained its multi-year run as the best-selling pickup truck in both New Zealand and Vietnam.
Ranger has enormous potential in supporting industry in the GCC too. With a shift towards diversified economies, nations within the GCC are undergoing enormous growth in many sectors. Saudi Arabia’s arid, mostly desert terrain and great temperature extremes calls for a tough, dependable truck designed to cope with the harshest conditions, year after year.
Engineered for a life of work, Ranger’s blend of reliability, durability, and dependability have been proven on the most rugged terrain and in the toughest weather conditions in the Middle East, Thailand, South Africa, Australia, Europe and the USA.
Not surprisingly, the Ford Ranger is well established as one of South Africa’s top sellers locally and dominates the extremely popular double cab segment. It is also proudly one of the country’s top vehicle exports, and is comfortably the leading light commercial vehicle (LCV) export. It remains the best-selling pickup in Europe too.
Evolution of Tough
Ranger’s roots can be traced right back to the Model T when Ford produced a factory assembled pickup version of the iconic car. It was available as a roadster or with a closed top and served as a more affordable alternative to the Model TT one-ton truck.
In 1960, Ford introduced the car-based Falcon Ranchero – its first ever compact pickup. It remained in production in various forms until 1979, when Ford began to chart a new path with an all-new compact truck, the Ranger.
The Ranger nameplate has been around since the 1960s. Ford introduced the Ranger nameplate as an upscale package for the fourth generation F-series pickup but it wasn’t until 1982 that it was applied to its own model.
The Ranger grew out of the Ford Courier, a compact utility which Ford released in 1972 and produced for a decade before introducing the all-new truck. Its blend of power, capability and all-wheel-drive quickly became a hit with business and recreational users, particularly when Ford added the SuperCab model in 1986, with additional space and optional jump seats in the rear.
Versatile and efficient, Ranger quickly built a reputation for being tough and capable, leading it to thrive in diverse markets around the world. It served as the base for the Bronco II and the Explorer and remained in production for 29 years over three distinct generational updates.
In markets outside the USA, Ford continued to produce the Courier until 1998 when it was replaced by the Ranger nameplate (except in Australia where the Courier name endured until 2006). The third generation Ranger – those first released in 2011 – were designed and engineered by Ford in Australia, as a global truck, and have gone on to become the most internationally successful models of Ranger.
Ranger is built in three locations around the world: Rayong, Thailand; Silverton, South Africa and Wayne, Michigan.
Ranger in South Africa
Ford has two manufacturing plants in South Africa – one based in Silverton, Pretoria, which assembles the Ranger, and an engine manufacturing plant in Port Elizabeth, which produces turbodiesel engines for local supply and export.
Over the past decade, the Ford Motor Company has poured invested ZAR11-billion (USD740million) in its South African operations, culminating in its highest-ever installed production capacity for the Ford Ranger pickup and the Everest seven-seater sport utility vehicle (SUV).
“The past 10 years have seen a complete transformation of Ford’s manufacturing operations in South Africa,” said Neale Hill, Managing Director, Ford Motor Company Sub-Saharan Africa Region. “We have progressed from a low-volume multi-vehicle business primarily serving the domestic industry to becoming a high-volume single platform manufacturer that is the Ranger production source for 148 markets globally.
“The award-winning Ranger has been the key driver of this success, with ever-growing local and international demand resulting in extensive upgrades and improvements to our facilities to significantly increase our production capacity over the years,” Hill added. “From the installed capacity of 110,000 units when we began assembling the new-generation Ford Ranger in 2011, we now have the capacity to build 168,000 vehicles annually to meet future requirements.”
Investment in the global export programme commenced in 2009 to transform the local production facilities, comprising the Silverton Assembly Plant in Pretoria, as well as the Struandale Engine Plant in Port Elizabeth, into a high-volume flexible single platform operation for the trend-setting new-generation Ranger and its Duratorq TDCi turbodiesel engines.
In 2016, Ford invested in further expansion of Ranger production and, notably, for the local assembly of the sophisticated Everest SUV for South Africa as well as for export to markets across the Sub-Saharan Africa region.
Previously imported from Thailand, local assembly of the Everest gave customers a far wider range of choice, as the line-up increased from just two models to a choice of eight derivatives – matched to a corresponding uptake in sales for this versatile seven-seater SUV. Localising production also contributed towards creating approximately 1,200 new jobs at Ford South Africa and within its local supplier network.
“We are extremely proud that Ford is one of the largest employers in the automotive sector, currently employing approximately 4,100 people in South Africa, and supporting around 40,000 indirect jobs within the value chain,” Hill stated.
2017 saw the announcement of another major capital injection into Ford’s local operations to accommodate further increases in installed capacity, with the current capability of producing up to 168,000 units annually.
“The ongoing investments and extensive upgrades to our plants have ensured that we are ready to meet current and future demand, with the potential for increased job opportunities,” Hill said.
Struandale Engine Plant
Ford has had a presence in Port Elizabeth since 1923. The Struandale Engine Plant was established in 1964 and currently produces two engine lines: the Duratorq TDCi 2.2- and 3.2-litre turbodiesel engine, and a new generation 2.0-litre bi-turbo and single turbo diesel engine.
The Duratorq programme was launched in 2011 to produce engines for Ranger. Components from suppliers in the UK, Germany, France and Brazil are machined at the plant and then either assembled and sent to Silverton to be fitted to Ranger pickups or Everest SUVs or Kansas City in the US to power the Transit van. Struandale also supplies assembled engines to Russia, Turkey and Italy.
The plant also supplies machined engine component kits (cylinder heads, block and crankshaft) to Ford plants in Thailand and Argentina. Approximately 410 Duratorq engines are assembled and around 850 component kits are machined every day.
Installed capacity for the Duratorq TDCi program has grown from the original 220,000 machined component sets (cylinder head, block and crankshaft) in 2011 to 280,000 by the end of 2018. Engine assembly capacity increased from 75,000 to 130,000 engines per annum over the same period.
The second engine line was formed as part of the ZAR3-billion (USD200 million) investment in Silverton and Struandale in 2016. Construction of the new assembly hall started in 2017, and job one rolled off the line In November 2018. Since then, staff have assembled close to 52,000 2.0-litre single and bi-turbo diesel engines.
Using components machined by Ford Dagenham in the UK, the plant uses an automated sub-assembly line for the cylinder head. Highly skilled assembly crew members are employed on the line, using advanced camera and scanning systems to eliminate production line errors.
Working in two shifts, five days per week, the team produces 320 assembled engines every day.
Installed capacity for the new engine assembly line is 120,000 units per year, contributing to a highest-ever combined capacity of 250,000 engines for the Port Elizabeth plant.
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About Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company is a global company based in Dearborn, Michigan. The company designs, manufactures, markets and services a full line of Ford cars, trucks, SUVs, electrified vehicles and Lincoln luxury vehicles, provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company and is pursuing leadership positions in electrification, autonomous vehicles and mobility solutions. Ford employs approximately 191,000 people worldwide. For more information regarding Ford, its products and Ford Motor Credit Company, please visit www.corporate.ford.com.
Ford’s history in the Middle East goes back more than 60 years. The company’s local importer-dealers operate more than 155 facilities in the region and directly employ more than 7,000 people, the majority of whom are Arab Nationals. For more information on Ford Middle East, please visit www.me.ford.com.
Ford Middle East is also a responsible corporate citizen with currently various CSR initiatives running in the region including the Ford Motor Company Conservation & Environmental Grants, Ford Warriors in Pink® breast cancer awareness campaign, Ford Driving Skills for Life for young drivers and the Henry Ford Entrepreneurship Academy education initiative for young entrepreneurs.