New Ford Ranger and Everest revealed on local shores

Fun fact for the file today – Ford Motor Company South Africa accounts for 1% of the country’s GDP. And it’s aiming to go to 2%.

200,000 vehicles a year is what the new Silverton plant is capable of producing, with an export target of 70 to 75%.

In the South African context, it is hard to overstate the value. Jobs, value creation, skills – you name it. These things are normally just numbers on paper but when you get to see what those numbers mean in the real world it drives home just how much money a billion, even in Rands, actually is. It makes you want to take a politician and rub their noses in it.

The production plant, to an engineer such as myself, is industrial pornography. There is so much to take in with so many moving parts that the organised chaos that it resembles is only translated into a sense of understanding when you view it as a living, breathing organism. The choreography of assembly, the beauty of timing, the endless assessment and feedback back into the system to self-improve is testimony to what can be achieved when you have brilliant minds working together towards a common goal of purpose.

Is that a subtle enough reference to what can and should be done elsewhere in society?

This R15B behemoth of a plant is geared to produce the new Ford Ranger of course and this is the real news of how Ford are taking aim at 2%. Some local journalists, including yours truly, were invited to the plant to have the first touch and feel session with the new Ranger and Everest.

The Ranger looks are a significant change it has to be said with the new C lights on the face of the vehicle making it unique in the mass of vehicles on the roads these days.

The all new digital display is also a big step forward and then more of an evolutionary process unfolding with the rest of it. Ranger users will find it comfortably familiar with tweaks and additions making their presence felt as you start to use the vehicle, and I suspect that as you do the more pleased you’ll become.

It’s going to sell like hotcakes.

I was even more impressed with the new Everest Platinum, though. This is taking a real stab at the premium SUV segment with a properly kitted out interior, boasting quality finishes that rival expensive competitors. A seven seater with 60/40 adjustable middle pews, the Everest makes no bones about targeting number one spot in the segment. Try as I might, all lips at Ford are firmly sealed when it comes to pricing.

So there you have it. An all new Ranger produced locally and an all new Everest, produced in Thailand, all coming to showrooms later this year. I cannot wait…

William Kelly

(Visited 1,873 times, 6 visits today)