Ford said on Wednesday that it will build a plug-in hybrid version of its popular Ranger bakkie at its factory in Silverton, Pretoria.
At the same time, it has announced it is bringing a wide range of new imported models to South African consumers, including the fully electric Mustang Mach-E, which will be launched in 2025.
The Ranger Plug-in Hybrid will be manufactured in Pretoria from next year following a R5.2-billion investment in the country by the US-headquartered motoring giant.
Ford made the announcement at an event to mark its 100th anniversary in South Africa.
The plug-in hybrid Rangers manufactured in South Africa, which will be capable of driving entirely on the electric motor for distances of up to 45km, will be exported to Europe, Australia and New Zealand.
Details about the new vehicle were not readily available on Wednesday, but Ford confirmed the vehicle will have a 2.3l EcoBoost engine paired with the electric motor.
“Ranger Plug-in Hybrid will also offer Pro Power Onboard, enabling customers to power their high-draw power tools and appliances on a worksite or remote campsite by plugging them into power outlets embedded in both the cargo bed as well as the cabin,” Ford said.
The vehicles will come equipped with the Ranger’s four-wheel drive offroad capability, five selectable drive modes, and advanced driver safety and driver assist features.
The R5.3-billion investment to build the plug-in Ranger includes the construction of a battery pack assembly plant, also in Silverton.
Ford began building Ranger models in South Africa in 2011 and since then has exported 630 000 vehicles to more than 100 markets around the world. It has produced a total of 960 000 Rangers at the Silverton plant, and it expects to reach the one million milestone in 2024.
Puma, Tourneo, Territory
Meanwhile, Ford also announced it plans to launch to new fuel-powered Rangers: the Ranger Tremor, which is designed for driving on difficult terrain, and the Ranger Platinum, which introduces “levels of refinement” not seen before in a Ranger bakkie. It includes “premium” leather seats with heating and cooling functions.
The company also used the centenary event to launch the Ford Puma, a crossover with 1l, 3-cylinder EcoBoost engine and seven-speed transmission. It also announced a new Ford Tourneo van and an SUV called the Ford Territory. The latter is scheduled for a May 2024 launch, Ford said. – © 2023 NewsCentral Media