Ford’s sophisticated Everest sport utility vehicle (SUV) is set to make an even greater impact on the South African market when an expanded range goes on sale locally in November this year.
With Job 1 for Everest production commencing today at the world-class Silverton Assembly Plant in Pretoria, it signals the start of a new era for Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa (FMCSA) as it now becomes a two-vehicle assembly facility that also produces the Ranger for export to 148 markets in Africa, the Middle East and Europe.
“The start of local production for the Ford Everest is another major milestone for FMCSA’s Manufacturing division in implementing Ford’s Global Facility and Process Standards,” says Ockert Berry, VP Operations. We are confident that the locally produced Ford Everest will deliver outstanding results for us, our employees and, most importantly, our customers,” said Berry.
The Everest will be produced for the South African market, and exported to countries across Sub-Saharan Africa.
This follows a combined R2.5-billion investment in Ford’s local operations for the Everest and Ranger programmes, creating approximately 1 200 new jobs at Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa (FMCSA), and within its supplier network.
“The Ford Everest has been a very popular addition to our local line-up, but thus far has only been available in the two high-specification 4×4 models which were fully imported from Thailand,” says Tracey Delate, General Marketing Manager, FMCSA.
“Local production has now enabled us to expand the offering with an additional six model derivatives, two engine choices, three trim levels, the option of manual and automatic transmissions, as well as two and four-wheel drive versions.
“The addition of the 2.2 TDCi XLS and XLT models in particular will appeal to family and lifestyle buyers, offering exceptional value for money matched to an outstanding level of standard safety features, smart technologies and proven all-terrain capability,” Delate adds.
While the mighty 147kW 3.2-litre Duratorq TDCi engine remains at the pinnacle of the range for this capable and versatile seven-seater SUV, the revised Everest line-up will be enhanced with the refined and economical 2.2-litre Duratorq TDCi engine also found in the Ranger. It produces 118kW and 385Nm of torque, and can be specified with a manual or automatic gearbox.
Along with the existing 3.2 TDCi Automatic four-wheel drive derivatives – in XLT and Limited specification levels – a third 4×4 model is set to join the mix in the form of the 2.2 TDCi XLS, equipped with a six-speed manual transmission.
Five all-new two-wheel drive Everest models will join the line-up for the first time. This includes a total of four 2.2 TDCi versions in a choice of either manual or automatic, as well as the option of the mid-level XLS trim or the luxuriously appointed XLT. Topping the 4×2 range is a new 3.2 TDCi XLT Automatic.
Full details on the expanded Ford Everest line-up will be announced at launch.