Will the New Ranger Still Be Produced in South Africa?

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Even though Ford hasn’t officially confirmed production of the new Ranger and Bronco in the United States, the president of the UAW at Michigan Assembly has. Based on that bit of news, we all believe the next-generation Ford Ranger and Bronco will be produced there. But what does that mean for the plant in South Africa that currently makes the global Rangers?

Ford is deep in their “One Ford” initiative to make their products consistent around the world. This saves the company on development costs, and allows the company to take advantage of larger quantities of scale when it comes to source materials cost.

Currently the Ranger is built at Silverton, South Africa (along with Rayong, Thailand and Buenos Aires, Argentina) for sale globally. All of those factories would, like the Michigan Assembly, need to be retooled for the new Ranger.

Ford won’t want plants to sit idle, so having more than one plant building the truck at a time is a good thing. Production could be shifted as each plant converts.

The most-likely scenario is that the Michigan Assembly will be producing trucks for the North American market. The other plants will continue to build the Ranger for the global market. The only question remains is what happens if global demand (including in the U.S.) decreases for trucks? Which plant would Ford idle first? Hopefully that’s a question that doesn’t need answered for a long time.

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Chad Kirchner is a regular contributor to Corvette Forum and Ford Truck Enthusiasts, among other auto sites.

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