Ford Motor Company of South Africa says it built 98 505 examples of the Ranger at its Silverton Assembly Plant in 2018, representing an annual production record for the firm.

The local arm of the Blue Oval brand said international demand for the Ranger reached an “all-time high” in 2018, allowing its Pretoria-based factory to ship 68 364 units to export markets. This is a 16,2 percent increase over 2017’s figure.

The bulk of Ranger exports from SA were destined for European markets.

Total production (so, including units built for the local market) ended on 98 505 units, which is 8 383 up on 2017 and the highest annual production volume for Ford’s South African operations yet.

“It was an extremely busy and successful year for our export business in 2018, as we attained our highest-ever production volume for the Ford Ranger, and boosted our export volumes by 16,2 percent to retain our undisputed leadership of the light commercial vehicle export segment,” said Neale Hill, managing director for Ford Motor Company Sub-Saharan Africa Region.

“This was achieved despite the extensive changes and upgrades implemented at the Silverton Assembly Plant over the past 18 months. We invested over R3-billion in preparation for even higher production capacities for 2019 and beyond, as well as for the imminent launch of the first-ever Ford Ranger Raptor, along with the new Ranger and Everest models due later this year.”