The new Ford Ranger Plug-in Hybrid, revealed back in September, will be built right here in South Africa.
This follows a R5.2 billion investment to produce the new model at its Silverton plant in Gauteng, as announced at Ford South Africa’s 100 Year Anniversary celebration held at the facility on Wednesday.
The investment also includes the establishment of a new battery pack assembly plant in Silverton, while Ford’s Chassis Plant will be upgraded to accommodate the unique configuration of this model.
Production is expected to commence in late 2022, with the hybrid model exported not only to Europe as per the regular Ranger models, but also to new export markets such as Australia and New Zealand.
The Ford Ranger PHEV’s hybrid system pairs a 2.3-litre EcoBoost turbopetrol engine with an electric motor and battery, the latter allowing for a range of more than 45km on electric power alone, according to Ford.
Although output specifications are not announced as yet, the company says it will offer more torque than any existing Ranger model. The 3,500kg towing capacity of the current Ranger models will be retained.
The large on-board battery also powers a Pro Power Onboard system that allows owners to power their tools and appliances at work sites and camp facilities. Or in South Africa’s case, power up everyday items during load shedding..
“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,” said Andrea Cavallaro, Operations director, Ford International Markets Group.
“It signals our commitment to the country, our employees and our extensive supplier network.”
The plant currently produces 720 vehicles per day, and employs around 5,200 South Africans.