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PRETORIA, South Africa – In a ground-breaking achievement, the Ranger has become the first bakkie (pick-up) to secure an overall win in the prestigious South African Car of the Year competition. Ford further asserted itself in the awards by taking second place overall with the Everest.
The Ford Ranger’s triumph marks a historic moment as no other bakkie has ever managed to beat all finalists to the top spot since the competition began in 1986. Fortuitously, this award coincides with Ford South Africa’s 100th anniversary locally, during which time it has established itself as an automotive leader that has shaped and modernised the local automotive landscape.
In addition to the overall win, the Ford Ranger, renowned for its toughness, versatility, and capability, stood out amongst its competitors to also win the popular Double Cab category. The locally manufactured Ranger, which is also exported to more than 100 markets around the world, impressed the judging panel with its cutting-edge technology and safety features, powerful engines, and unrivalled driving experience.
The Ranger is also unique in that its production takes place at two local manufacturing plants – the engines are built at the Struandale Engine Plant in Gqeberha before being shipped to Ford’s Silverton Vehicle Assembly Plant in Pretoria. The Silverton plant has a production capacity of 720 vehicles per day, supporting domestic and export markets.
“With its enduring legacy which began in 1986, the South African Car of the Year competition has become a highly anticipated event in the automotive industry and continues to be an influential platform for promoting automotive excellence,” says Doreen Mashinini, General Manager for Marketing at Ford South Africa. “We are incredibly proud to witness the Next-Gen Ranger make history by clinching the overall victory in this year’s Car of the Year competition. This accomplishment underscores Ford’s commitment to delivering best-in-class vehicles that not only meet but exceed the needs and expectations of our valued customers.”
Following in the Ranger’s tracks, the Ford Everest took top honours in the Adventure SUV category, along with second place overall in the competition. By combining exceptional off-road capability with practical seven-seater comfort, versatility and advanced features, the Everest is a compelling all-rounder that raises the bar in all areas.
“It is an honour for us to receive these prestigious awards from the South African Guild of Mobility Journalists,” said Neale Hill, President, Ford Motor Company Africa. “These awards serve to underline the very positive attributes that the Next-Gen Ranger and Everest bring to our customers locally and globally. I want to thank everyone who has contributed towards the development and launch of these revolutionary models, winning SA’s Car of the Year and rewriting history as the only bakkie to have done so is the best affirmation of our collective efforts. I would also like to make special mention of our employees at both our plants locally who go the extra mile daily to deliver this world class product to our customers,” concludes Hill.
Ranger winning Car of the Year follows a major investment of US$1 billion into the Silverton Vehicle Assembly Plant in Pretoria boosting Ford’s production capacity, and a R600 million investment into the Struandale Engine Plant in Gqeberha resulting in an expanded engine program.
Caption: From left, to right – Doreen Mashinini, Londeka Mkhize, Dale Reid, Vanessa Terblanche, Neale Hill, Minesh Bhagaloo
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