WATCH: Final outgoing generation Ford Ranger departs Silverton | The Citizen

After 11 years and a combined domestic market as well as export market number of 873 751 units, of which 271 000 were sold locally, the T6-generation Ford Ranger has officially ended production at the Blue Oval’s Silverton Plant outside Pretoria.

Watch: Final Ford Ranger coming off production line

In a statement, the automaker confirmed that the final model, a Blue Lightning-coloured Stormtrak, rode off of the assembly line on Thursday (10 November) with its fate not being disclosed.

Locally assembled at Silverton following an investment of R3.4-billion in 2009, with engine production of the then 2.2-litre and 3.2-litre Puma units taking place at the Struandale Engine Plant in Port Elizabeth, now Gqeberha, the Ranger made history not long after its debut for unsettling the Toyota Hilux on a number occasions for the title of monthly best-selling new vehicle and bakkie.

Exported to over 100 countries, the T6 officially makes way for the new T6.2 Ranger that will be assembled alongside its twin, the Volkswagen Amarok, at Silverton as part of a record R15.8-billion investment announced earlier this year.

Not long after, Dearborn committed a further R600-million into Struandale for the production of not only the upgraded 2.0-litre single and bi-turbo Panther engines made since 2018, but also the new 3.0-litre Lion turbodiesel V6 that will power the Ranger, Amarok as well as the now imported new Everest.

ALSO READ: WATCH: New Ford Ranger impresses on debut drive in South Africa

As is well known by now, only the Ranger and Amarok will be manufactured at Silverton with sourcing of the Everest and new Ranger Raptor from Thailand.

“We shipped nearly 603 000 current-generation Rangers to customers around the world, which has consistently positioned the Ranger as South Africa’s leading light commercial vehicle export,” Silverton Plant Manager Tim Day said.

“This is a significant achievement for our local operations, our employees and our suppliers as an integral part of Ford’s global manufacturing network.”

With a total of R18-billion having gone into Ranger production at Silverton and Struandale since 2018, Ford Vice-President of Vehicle Operations in South Africa, Ockert Berry, remarked that the success of the Ranger has bolstered the country’s image aboard as a world class automotive hub it could be proud of.

“Ranger not only placed South Africa on the map as a global production and export hub, but also played an important role in expanding the domestic automotive manufacturing sector,” he said.

Of the new Ranger, Berry remarked that the investment into both facilities goes further than simply representing assembly of a new model.

“[The investment] has also given us the platform to promote economic development and create much-needed job opportunities. We are extremely proud to support 5 500 jobs at Ford South Africa and around 60 000 jobs in the supply chain, while contributing more than one percent to South Africa’s total GDP.”

The official introduction of the new Ranger is set to occur before the end of the year with pricing still to be announced.

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