Ford has bounced back in South Africa from the reputational issues in 2017 around the Kuga SUV.
Head of Automotive for Gumtree SA Jeff Osborne believes the historic brand is now on something of a roll. “The safety recalls on some Kuga models weren’t well handled at the time but, since then, we’ve seen nothing but good news out of Ford, and sales have remained consistently stable or in some cases improved”.
The Ford Ranger is an entrenched South African icon which goes head-to-head with the Toyota Hilux in the local bakkie market. The Ranger demonstrated its resale value by winning the Double Cab Bakkie category, and the People’s Choice award, in the first ever Gumtree Pre-Owned Car Awards last year.
Osborne says there’s plenty of hype around the new Ford Ranger Raptor which will be built at the Silverton Plant in Pretoria and is set to be launched locally in 2019. “It certainly has a bold look and has generated a lot of debate around its smaller engine size which may well be on trend for the market by the time it hits the roads”.
Ford has three new hatchback models coming into the SA market during 2018: the Ford EcoSport, the new Fiesta and the new Figo. They have also delivered a new version of the legendary Ford Mustang with a 5.0L Ti-VCT V8 engine.
Osborne believes this freshening up the range will produce good results for Ford. “They have a remarkable history in South Africa having first sold a Model T here in 1905 and they’ve been manufacturing locally since 1923. They’re showing a clear commitment to this market at a time when General Motors has backed out.”