Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa reported a total of 6 151 exports of its Ranger in March 2018, declaring that the shipment of the bakkie to markets in Europe, the Middle East and Africa is “back on track”.

In February 2018, Ford exported just 1 608 examples of the Ranger from its Silverton assembly plant in Pretoria, while that number was as low as 910 units in January 2018.

The reason for the fall in export numbers in the first two months of the year? Well, the Blue Oval brand says it was hard at work upgrading both its Silverton factory and its Struandale engine plant in Port Elizabeth to handle an expanded production, after the latest investment of some R3-billion.

“Although the market was down , local sales and exports for the Ranger have recovered after the completion of the Silverton plant upgrades,” said Neale Hill, director of marketing, sales and service at Ford SA.

Ford SA recently announced that the new Ranger Raptor would be built at Silverton, and its 2,0-litre turbodiesel heart at Struandale.

In March 2018, a total of 27 438 vehicles were exported from South Africa, down 2 421 units or 8,1% year-on-year. Mercedes-Benz made the biggest contribution (9 255), followed by Volkswagen (6 689), Ford and Toyota (4 115). BMW exported just 125 units in March, as it continued its switchover in production from the 3 Series to the X3.