Ford Investing $167 Million in South Africa for Everest SUV
Plant Fourth to Produce 4x4 SUV – Preview of New Bronco?
Ford will invest the equivalent of $167 million in Pretoria, South Africa, to build the Ranger-based Everest SUV for the sub-Saharan Africa market. Pretoria joins Thailand, India, and China as production bases for the midsize body-on-frame SUV. Production of the Everest is scheduled to begin in South Africa in the third quarter of 2016, according to a Bloomberg report.
South Africa has become a major manufacturing hub for many automakers, with BMW, Volkswagen, and others having manufacturing facilities in the nation. The 3.2L I-5 diesel offered as an option in the Transit fullsize van is manufactured near Port Elizabeth. The Ranger midsize pickup is currently manufactured in Pretoria.
Ford has announced changes are coming for its Wayne, Michigan, plant, which currently builds the Focus and C-Max compacts. Production of those two models is expected to be transferred to Mexico. The predominant speculation is that Wayne will get a truck or SUV product, and the Ranger pickup is a strong possibility. There has been ongoing speculation that the Ranger will be joined by a revived Bronco model. The original Bronco was a two-door. The vast majority of SUV sales today are four-door models, including the Jeep Wrangler. If Ford does decide to revive the Bronco nameplate in North America, there’s a good likelihood it could be attached to a vehicle similar to the Everest. Other speculation is the U.S. would get a version of the Brazil-market Troller, which is outwardly very similar to the Wrangler.