Ford will build its new Ranger truck in South Africa and export it to 148 countries around the world. A new report from Bloomberg says Ford will build up to 100,000 Rangers annually in South Africa. Ford has expanded its Pretoria, South Africa facility to have a maximum capacity of 110,000 vehicles annually. The factory reportedly produces 48,000 vehicles that are sold in southern Africa each year.
Ford Chief Financial Officer Lewis Booth told reporters that the new Ranger will help Ford "catch up" with General Motors. Ford currently has about 10 percent of South Africa's car market, while GM has cornered 13 percent of the South African market. Bloomberg reports that between 500,000 and 600,000 new vehicles are sold each year in the country.
The 2012 Ford Ranger is the latest iteration of the Blue Oval's compact truck, and will not be sold in the U.S. It will be available in almost 180 other countries, including many developing markets. Engine choices include a 164-hp, 2.5-liter inline-five gasoline engine; a 148-hp, 2.2-liter inline-four diesel; and a top-spec 3.2-liter inline-five diesel with 197 hp and 347 lb-ft of torque.
Ford ramped up production at the Pretoria plant not only to provide capacity for export, but also in anticipation of an improving South African economy. "Although we don't have a specific estimate for when that will happen, it's important for us to keep a presence here," Jeff Nemeth, CEO of Ford South Africa, told Bloomberg.