The Ford Ranger Tremor will be one of the first new arrivals in South Africa in 2024.




Celebrating a century’s worth of South African manufacturing, Ford has announced their upcoming attractions and local investment plans.

From a tiny outfit assembling knocked-down kits outside Gqeberha (formerly Port Elizabeth) to a massive operation with a production capacity of up to 200,000 units per year, Ford has steadily grown their manufacturing presence in South Africa over the past century. The company now further affirmed their commitment to turning Ford South Africa into a major manufacturing hub, by investing a further R 5.2-billion into retooling of a section of their Silverton production line.

Ford's sprawling Silverton, Pretoria, facility received another cash injection, this time to prepare to build the Ranger hybrid for export markets.

Another massive investment

This retooling brings the total spent on production facilities up to the R 33-billion mark, spread over the past 14 years. The company is already getting good use out of their extensively renovated Struandale- (engine) and Silverton (vehicle assembly) plants, but the latest round of investment will make the locally-produced Rangers even more desirable in the all-important export markets.

This forms part of an expanded production portfolio, where hybrid Rangers built at the Silverton facility will be sent to Europe, Australia and New Zealand from the end of 2024. And, not only is Ford growing their local production capacity and export market, but they’re also planning to treat their South African fans to a brace of new and upgraded models over the next few years.

These models were announced at a recent event held in Silverton, Pretoria, during the company’s celebration of its production centenary in South Africa. Watch our video of the celebratory event as it unfolded here, and check out the historic models on display in the marquee here.

With its 2.3-litre EcoBoost engine and 45 km of electric driving range, the Ranger hybrid could be a hot seller in SA - if Ford decides to bring it here!

A hybrid Ranger is on its way, but probably not to us

One of the products forming part of this export drive is a hybrid version of the Ranger bakkie, which already makes its way to Europe. The plug-in hybrid Ranger (PHEV) will join its non-electrified siblings in that market, but also add Australasia to its destination list. It features the 2.3-litre EcoBoost engine, combined with a plug-in hybrid setup that is claimed to allow up to 45 km of petrol-free driving and produce more torque than the 3.0-litre turbodiesel Wildtrak.

Electrification will deliver a definite boost to both the Ranger hybrid's performance and efficiency.

This is likely not a model destined for local shores any time soon, however. Ford SA’s official stance is that the PHEV is not confirmed for South Africa, but given the fanfare with which they previewed new vehicles destined for our shores even a few years down the line, our hosts at the event would likely have mentioned that fact if the hybrid was also on its way here. Draw your own conclusions from that, but don’t hold your breath…

The Ford Ranger Tremor is a more-affordable, off-road oriented offering in the local model range.

Further Ranger expansions

Set to arrive in 2024’s first quarter, these two new additions to the Ranger line-up will broaden its appeal even further. The newly-announced Tremor trim level is an off-road-focused variant, based on a mix between XL equipment (halogen headlights and relatively unadorned exterior) and the XLT trim (some interior pieces and possibly its drivetrain), but equipped with similar position-sensitive dampers, increased ride height, and enhanced off-road systems to that of the new Wildtrak X.

Platinum trim will add a bunch of luxury- and convenience features to the new range-topping Ford Ranger.

At the opposite end of the Ranger spectrum, the new Platinum trim will take the Ranger to levels of interior luxury and high-end features never seen in a local Ford bakkie before. It mirrors the Everest Platinum in its appointments, with matrix LED headlights, a luxurious leather-lined interior with quilt-pattern stitching on the seats, and 10-way power adjustment with heating and cooling for the front pews. Power is provided by  the 3.0-litre turbodiesel V6, sending 184 kW and 600 Nm to all four wheels through a 10-speed automatic transmission and electronically-controlled AWD/4WD system.

Ford plans to re-enter the local mid-size SUV market with the new Territory.

Ford reclaims the Territory

A whole generation of South Africans have reached their teen years since the last time a Territory badge was affixed to a locally-available Ford product. Back then, the Territory was essentially a jacked-up BA Falcon SUV, complete with an available turbo 4.0-litre inline-six engine in ST guise.

This time, the Territory name gets stuck onto a mid-sized family SUV with rather more conventional mechanicals, but still originating from the Eastern hemisphere. The Territory is sourced from Ford’s Chinese operations, and, while details of the models we’ll get in South Africa are still vague, it has been confirmed that motive power will be provided by a 1.8-litre EcoBoost engine delivering 140 kW and 320 Nm, driving the front wheels through a seven-speed automatic transmission.

With stylish looks and the largest dimensions in its class, the new Ford Territory could prove a hit with local buyers.

The best news could be its potential pricetag, because recent experience has shown that Chinese-origin cars usually come in at very reasonable prices for their quality-, equipment- and performance levels. However, given the smaller, European-made, Puma crossover’s steep prices, this may be an opportunity to really make serious dough by pitching the Territory even more upmarket. Expect the new Territory to arrive here in the second quarter of 2024.

The seventh-generation Ford Mustang will initially be available only in GT trim, with a proper V8 under the bonnet.

New Mustangs in 2024

Also set for release early in 2024, the seventh-generation Mustang coupe is set to build on the local success of its predecessor. Two versions of the new Mustang will be available, with the GT due to arrive first with its 362 kW/567 Nm 5.0-litre V8 and 10-speed automatic transmission.

The track-oriented Mustang Dark Horse will join the local Mustang line-up in the second quarter of 2024.

The second Mustang in the 2024 range will be the Dark Horse, which will arrive in Q2 of 2024, and ups the power output to 372 kW from its internally-modified V8 engine. These enhancements are echoed in its running gear, where bespoke suspension tuning, upgraded brakes, high-performance tyres, and enhanced aerodynamic add-ons turn the Dark Horse into the most-potent and most track-worthy Mustang in the new-generation lineup.

A Ford Mustang in name only, the Mach-E series promises strong performance and four-door practicality, combined with some Mustang styling cues.

Also bearing the Mustang name but sharing nothing else with its siblings is the Mustang Mach-E, which is set to arrive here in 2025. This SUV EV sports a dual-motor drivetrain with enough power to hurtle the big and heavy car to 100 km/h in a claimed 3.7 seconds. It’s still unclear whether local examples will play any V8 noises through their audio systems, though.

The new Ford Tourneo Custom benefits from a new platform that optimises space efficiency, driving dynamics, and comfort.

Tourneo and Transit Custom

These two models are perhaps Ford’s most underrated products in the local market, and certainly deserve more attention even in the face of superb competition such as the VW Transporter, Toyota Quantum, and Mercedes V-Class. The all-new Tourneo and Transit Custom ranges are set to arrive over the first half of 2024, with the Trend trim levels appearing first before the higher-end Titanium X and Sport variants will arrive around mid-year.

Built on the same architecture as the Tourneo Custom, the Ford Transit Custom prioritises carrying loads instead of people.

The Tourneo Custom is the passenger minivan version on this platform while the Transit Custom is the cargo-carrying model, and both feature a 2.0-litre single-turbo diesel engine delivering up to 131 kW (depending on the trim level), while an eight-speed torque converter automatic will make for easy driving characteristics. These models ride on an all-new platform, with improved front suspension geometry and a clever independent rear suspension to optimise space efficiency, ride comfort, and driving dynamics.


Martin Pretorius