This orange Wildtrak double cab is the 500 000th current-generation Ranger built in South Africa.

Pretoria - Ford’s Ranger is quickly joining the ranks of South Africa’s most prolifically produced vehicles with the company recently celebrating production of the 500 000th current-generation model at its Silverton plant in Pretoria.

Although the Ranger is a big seller locally - occupying second spot behind the Hilux in most months - this volume is largely due to it being among the country’s top exports, with a record 8062 units shipped abroad in April this year.

The Ranger still has some way to go before it can claim to be SA’s most produced vehicle - the Polo reached the 1 250 000 milestone last year, while BMW’s 3-Series came a shade under 1.2 million before it was discontinued and Toyota’s Corolla celebrated its millionth local build way back in 2013 - but these were all across multiple generations.

Should the lucrative export contracts continue, the Ranger will theoretically hit the million mark in about five years from now.

The good news is that Ford has continued to invest in Ranger (and Everest) production at the Silverton plant, with a further R3-billion having been injected into the plant in 2017 to further expand production, and introduce new models such as the much-anticipated Raptor, due in 2019.

IOL Motoring