By 9 November 2023 | Categories: news


Ford Motor Company is celebrating its 100-year legacy in South Africa with the announcement of a R5.2 billion investment in its local operations for the production of the first-ever Ford Ranger Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV), commencing in late 2024.

Announced yesterday at Ford’s Silverton Assembly Plant as part of the centenary celebrations, the motor manufacturer states the investment for the plug-in hybrid version of the Ranger incorporates a new battery pack assembly plant that is being constructed within the Silverton plant for the PHEV system. Ford’s Chassis Plant in the Tshwane Automotive Special Economic Zone (TASEZ) is also being upgraded to accommodate the unique chassis configuration for this model, including changes to the robots, welding equipment, control systems, conveyors and skids. Currently, the Silverton Assembly Plant has an installed capacity to produce 720 vehicles per day over three shifts, or 200,000 vehicles per year.

“The additional investment in the Silverton Assembly Plant for the Ranger Plug-in Hybrid takes our total manufacturing investment in South Africa over the past 14 years to around $1.72 billion, or nearly R33 billion,” says Andrea Cavallaro, operations director of Ford International Markets Group. “It signals our commitment to the country, our employees and our extensive supplier network.”

“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,” Cavallaro says. “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 states the Ranger Plug-in Hybrid will deliver more torque than any other Ranger, thanks to a 2.3-litre Ford EcoBoost turbo petrol engine paired with an electric motor and rechargeable battery system. It can be driven in pure electric mode for more than 45 kilometres without using a drop of fuel or producing tailpipe emissions, helping customers save at the pump and reduce their environmental impact, Ford notes. There is also Pro Power Onboard for the first time, enabling customers to power their tools and appliances on a worksite or remote campsite by plugging them into power outlets embedded in both the cargo bed and the cabin.

Ford is also marking this historic milestone with the reveal of an expanded product range that will soon be available to its South African customers. The line-up comprises the all-electric Mustang Mach-E, the seventh-generation Mustang range (which will include the most powerful naturally aspirated Mustang ever – the Mustang Dark Horse), the all-new Territory five-seater SUV, and the next-generation Tourneo and Transit Custom.

As Ford celebrates its 100-year heritage, it has also launched three major community initiatives focused on empowering youth in South Africa through education, totalling R85 million.

Ford South Africa and Ford Motor Company Fund are funding the creation of 100 Maths and Science Labs for primary schools in disadvantaged areas around the country. This project is aimed at improving education with an emphasis on the STEM subjects, comprising science, technology, engineering and maths.

Logistics company Maersk is donating 100 shipping containers for the project, which will see the containers refurbished into fully equipped laboratories by the Gift of the Givers Foundation. The team is working with the Department of Basic Education to identify the schools that will receive the maths and science labs.

Next, Ford South Africa is funding the establishment of 100 Early Childhood Development (ECD) Centres. The project is being implemented with the Nelson Mandela Foundation, with ECD centres being built to replace existing nursery schools from disadvantaged areas across South Africa that are dilapidated and not compliant with the government’s health and safety regulations. The new facilities will comprise two classrooms, a kitchen, bathrooms and a sick bay to provide a safe and conducive learning environment for the children.

Furthermore, Ford Motor Company Fund will award 100 Scholarships to highly motivated young South Africans from under-resourced and under-represented communities interested in STEM-related careers. The scholarships will focus on the mechatronics, autotronics, millwright and electrical trade fields, as well as mechatronics and transportation technicians. Beneficiaries will have the opportunity to apply for Ford South Africa’s apprenticeship program, as well as those offered by the broader industry.

According to Ford it currently employs approximately 5200 people in South Africa. The local operations support around 60 000 jobs in the total value chain amongst supplier companies and contributes more than 1% to South Africa’s GDP.


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