The Ford Ranger has been one of South Africa’s best-selling vehicles for almost as long as it’s been on the market.
It’s an incredibly popular bakkie, not just here but overseas as well, as it is sold in no less than 180 countries around the world.
With this much demand, it comes as little surprise that the high-rider has racked up an impressive stats sheet over the years, which is sure to be expanded upon now that the new generation is finally here.
The new Ranger is built right here in South Africa at the automaker’s Silverton Plant in Pretoria – which is one of only five facilities around the world that manufactures the bakkie.
It was the third of these locations to start production and is also being used to build the new VW Amarok, which was co-developed alongside the Ranger in a joint effort between Ford and Volkswagen.
To achieve this, more than R15.8 billion was invested in the local factory to expand production for the two vehicles, including a new on-site stamping plant, a body shop that is now 95% automated, and a new frame manufacturing line which is the only one Ford has anywhere in the world.
Another benefit of this expansion was that a third shift was added to the production schedule, leading to 1,200 new jobs being created.
In total, 5,500 people are now directly employed by Ford South Africa, and another 60,000 people are estimated to be involved at various points in the supply chain.
The net result of all of these changes is that Silverton is now capable of making over 200,000 units a year – 65% of which will be for export.
The exception to the blue oval’s domestic production is the Ranger Raptor and Everest SUV, which are imported to South Africa from Thailand.
The Ranger is one of the country’s top vehicle exportsbeating out the likes of the BMW X3, VW Polo, and Toyota Hilux. In fact, global sales of the pickup have seen a staggering 71% increase since 2015.
A total of 873,751 previous-generation Rangers were produced in South Africa between 2011 and 2022. Broken up into its various body type, roughly 50% of the units made were double cabs, while another 40% were single cabs, leaving the super cab as the most niche shape at 10% of units made.
The halo-model Raptor also proved to be a smash hitas 3,630 units of the previous generation were purchased despite its retail price of close to R1 million.
Shifting focus to the newer entries, Ford recently revealed that the most popular optional extras purchased for the Ranger include a spare wheel lock, spray-in bed liner, 12V socket, dual-zone climate control, and front and rear parking sensors.
It also said that less than 10% of customers are buying a car without any form of after-purchase support, and that maintenance plans are proving to be more popular than service plans.
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