Ford is close to launching the next-gen Ranger in South Africa; expected to be the company’s smartest and most capable pickup truck to date. The Ranger is already incredibly popular in South Africa, so this all-new model is highly anticipated and expected to perform well in the local market.
Ford is a close partner of Formex Industries. Our automotive components and assemblies have been used on previous generations of the Ranger and this new model is no exception. As a direct supplier to Ford, Formex will be manufacturing various components for the new Ranger at our high-tech facility in Gqeberha, Eastern Cape.
What makes the next-gen Ranger unique?
Ford has called for collaboration and feedback from customers from around the world when designing the new Ranger. Using decades of experience in the pickup truck market and the suggestions given by customers, Ford aims to deliver a highly versatile and reliable vehicle, as well as an improved ownership experience.
These customer service options include an always-on support system that delivers convenience to the owners of their new vehicles. In addition, Ford has launched a campaign called “Living the Ranger Life” that is ingrained from the design and engineering phase of the Ranger’s life cycle.
“We’ve really packed a lot into the next-generation Ranger to inspire owners to do more of what they love to do, with features that encourage them to explore new horizons,” said Gary Boes, the enterprise product line management director of global trucks at Ford.
Graham Pearson, Ford’s vehicle programme director for the Ranger, says; “Our team was focused on one goal – to make this Ranger the toughest and most capable we’ve ever created. They put it through one of the most exhaustive global testing schedules we’ve ever developed and would not rest until we were satisfied that it was Built Ford Tough.”
How customer input shaped the Ranger
Customer feedback was a core component of the design process. Ford spent a lot of time talking to Ranger owners from around the world, including South Africa. They conducted over 5000 interviews during this process and multiple customer workshops in order to understand how people use their vehicles and what features they’d like to see included in the next-gen model.
This process led to the bold new look of the Ranger, which echoes the American design DNA of the F150 and F250 models, with their signature C-clamp headlights and bigger wheel arches. Although the new look is very different from the previous South African model, local customers are generally happy with the design and appearance.
For the first time, Ford is including matrix LED headlights on the new Ranger. The taillights also reflect the design DNA of the signature graphics upfront. Inside, the changes are abundant; Ford has included more premium materials and a larger portrait-orientated touchscreen for its Synci 4 connectivity and entertainment system. All around, the next-gen Ranger is a step up from previous models.
New powertrain options
Customers can order their Ranger with the option between Ford’s proven two-litre, four-cylinder diesel engines; one with a single turbo and the other with a bi-turbo setup, and the infamous 2.3-litre EcoBoost petrol engine. The single turbo engine has two performance levels and this powertrain will deliver fuel efficiency, which is important for small business owners and commercial vehicle fleets.
The bi-turbo engine is more refined and obviously delivers more power. This is the ideal option for owners who like a little more torque and acceleration. The EcoBoost petrol engine, on the other hand, also delivers competitive performance and is ideal for customers that prefer horsepower over torque. This engine is a global staple for Ford and is included in many of its vehicles.
Customers also have the choice between a 10-speed automatic transmission or a six-speed manual. Both of these options are available with Ford’s two four-wheel-drive systems; one is an electronic shift-on-the-fly option and the other is an advanced full-time 4×4 system that comes with a set-and-forget mode.
Interior features are customer-centric
Ranger customers asked Ford for a more flexible and modern interior that caters to both work and leisure needs. The upgraded interior includes more options for storage and comfort, as well as smart connectivity features that run through the large touch screen in the centre console. The instrument cluster and gauges are fully digital and can be voice-activated to control communications, entertainment and information systems.
The next-gen Ranger will also come with a factory-embedded internet modem that delivers connectivity on the go through the FordPass app. This app enhances the ownership experience through features such as remote start, vehicle information, remote lock and unlock, as well as system status checks – all via your smartphone.
All-in-all, there are over 600 accessories to choose from. These can be suited to work, urban or adventure requirements, ensuring that your Ranger is as capable as can be for your purposes. The manufacturing process in South Africa is underway, so customers can expect to take delivery of their all-new Rangers imminently.
Formex Industries is a metal forming and assembly company that supplies a variety of complex products to the local automotive industry and the export market. The company is based in the Nelson Mandela Bay metropole, South Africa’s foremost region for automotive manufacturing and export.
Formex is a supplier with 69% black ownership, of which 37% are black women. The company is owned by Deneb Investments Limited – a subsidiary of Hosken Consolidated Investments Limited (HCI) – one of South Africa’s biggest true B-BBEE companies listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE).
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