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Silverton ramps up for Ranger PHEV

FoMoCo makes $A425 investment at South African plant ahead of Ranger PHEV production

9 Nov 2023

FORD MOTOR COMPANY has this week announced a R5.2 billion ($A425 million) investment in its Silverton Assembly Plant, South Africa, ahead of production of its first-ever Ranger Plug-In Hybrid (PHEV), commencing in late 2024.


The investment incorporates a new battery pack assembly plant that is being constructed within the Silverton facility, the Chassis Plant also receiving an upgrade to accommodate what Ford describes as “the unique chassis configuration” of the Ranger PHEV.


The Chassis Plant will receive changes to its robots, welding equipment, control systems, conveyers and skids before production begins.


Further, Vehicle Assembly Operations are being adapted to accommodate the specific trim, chassis, and final line aspects of the Ranger PHEV. This includes changes to the handling equipment, turnover fixtures, charging systems, leak detection and testing equipment, as well as a new repair area.


Along with the new battery facility and plant upgrades required specifically for the Ranger PHEV, the plant’s Paint Shop is also being upgraded for all vehicles produced at Silverton. Ford says this will guarantee the highest levels of customer satisfaction and enable the facility to consistently deliver the required production volumes.


The Silverton Assembly Plant has an installed capacity to produce 720 vehicles per day over three shifts, or 200,000 vehicles per year.


“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 R33 billion ($A2.7b),” explained Ford International Markets Group operations director, Andrea Cavallaro.


“It signals our commitment to the country, our employees, and our extensive supplier network.”


Ford currently employs around 5200 people in South Africa. Expanded across the total supply chain, it is estimated Ford’s local operations support around 60,000 jobs and contribute to more than one per cent of the country’s GDP.


“As with the current Ranger models, the new Ranger Plug-In Hybrid will be exported to Europe as part of our commitment to offer a wide range of powertrain options for customers in this important mid-size pick-up segment,” added Mr Cavallaro.


“For the first time in about two decades, the Silverton plant will also be supplying vehicles to Australia and New Zealand, as it will be the source for the Ranger Plug-In Hybrid for these countries.”


The Ranger PHEV combines a 2.3-litre EcoBoost turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine – found in the Mustang and other Ford models, as well as the co-developed Volkswagen Amarok – with an electric motor to provide additional power and torque, and up to 45km of all electric driving.


Ford says the hybrid system allows the Ranger PHEV to be driven purely on electricity for shorter trips or for use as a power source on the job- or camp site.


The plug-in hybrid system was chosen over other options including regular hybrid or battery electric due to its ability to meet customer needs for towing heavy loads (the model retains Ranger’s 3500kg braked towing ability), travelling long distances, and venturing off-road without relying on charging infrastructure.


The 2024 Ford Ranger PHEV forms part of Ford Australia’s plan to introduce five electrified vehicles before the end of next year.

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