Ford investing R5.2 billion to build hybrid Ranger in South Africa

Ford has announced that it will produce the first-ever plug-in hybrid Ranger model at its Silverton Assembly Plant in Tshwane.

The carmaker is investing R5.2 billion to upgrade the plant to accommodate the production of the plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV).

According to Andrea Cavallaro, operations director at Ford’s International Markets Group, the R5.2 billion brings the carmaker’s total manufacturing investment in South Africa to around R33 billion.

“It signals our commitment to the country, our employees and our extensive supplier network,” stated Cavallaro.

Ford’s Silverton Assembly Plant upgrade will include a new battery pack assembly plant, which will be situated inside the main plant.

The carmaker’s Chassis Plant in the Tshwane Automotive Special Economic Zone will also receive significant upgrades, including changes to robots, welding equipment, control systems, conveyors, and skids.

Moreover, the company said vehicle assembly operations are being adapted to accommodate Ranger PHEV, specifically the trim, chassis, and final line.

This includes new handling equipment, turnover fixtures, charging systems, leak detection, testing equipment, and repair area.

“As with the current Ranger models, the new Ranger Plug-in Hybrid will be exported to Europe as part of our commitment to offer a wide range of powertrain options for customers in this important mid-size pickup segment,” said Cavallaro.

“For the first time in about two decades the Silverton plant will also be supplying vehicles to Australia and New Zealand, as it will be the source market for the Ranger Plug-in Hybrid for these countries.”

Ford’s Pro Power Onboard system.

However, Ford hasn’t confirmed whether the Ranger PHEV will be sold in South Africa.

Regarding the bakkie’s powertrain, Ford pairs a 2.3-litre EcoBoost turbo petrol engine with an electric motor and a rechargeable battery.

In pure electric mode, the battery offers a range of 45km.

“It will provide all the towing and payload capability customers expect of Ranger,” said Ford.

It will also feature Ford’s Pro Power Onboard system, which provides power outlets embedded in the cabin and cargo bed that customers can use to power tools at a worksite or appliances at a campsite.

Alongside the Ranger PHEV announcement, Ford also announced a significant expansion to its product portfolio in South Africa.

“Today we are reaffirming our commitment to providing distinctive products and services for our customers in South Africa, supported by always-on relationships and an ever-improving user experience,” said Kay Hart, president of Ford’s International Markets Group.

The new models it announced include:

  • The off-road-focussed Ranger Tremor
  • The comfort and luxury-focused Ranger Platinum
  • The seventh-generation Mustang and several variants, including the Mach-E, Ford’s first electric car in South Africa
  • New Tourneo and Transit models
  • The Ford Territory SUV

Now read: Uber starts going electric in South Africa

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Ford investing R5.2 billion to build hybrid Ranger in South Africa