New VW Amarok to be built in SA alongside the Ford Ranger, says source
Insider says the American carmaker’s plant in Tshwane is being expanded to build jointly developed bakkies
It was recently announced that the next-generation Volkswagen Amarok will be based on the new Ford Ranger, and though both companies have yet to divulge where the bakkies will be assembled, a Ford insider has told Motor News it will be at the company’s local vehicle assembly plant in Silverton, Tshwane.
Ford’s current Ranger is built there for the local market and for export to more than 100 countries. The current Amarok, launched in 2010, is an import produced in Argentina and Germany.
The source, who did not wish to be named, said construction has begun to take shape on a new and more advanced body and paint shop at the Silverton plant that will absorb the incoming capacity.
Contractors from construction company JC van der Linde & Venter projects are already working on the plant to facilitate the expansion of existing buildings to cater for the Amarok’s local integration, in a project on the construction company’s website titled “Ford Package E”.
A Tshwane Automotive Special Economic Zone (SEZ) was recently set up adjacent to Ford’s plant and may form part of the factory’s expansion of its Amarok/Ranger production facilities.
It’s still early days and both companies are mum on details that will define this joint venture, such as confirmation on the mechanicals and whether they will share engines and transmissions. However, it’s expected that Volkswagen will continue to use its well-developed four-cylinder engines, but assembled by Ford, which already has the required facilities and skilled workforce to build bakkies for local and export markets. The second-generation Amarok and new Ford Ranger are both expected to be launched in 2022.
Ford SA communications manager Minesh Bhagaloo declined to comment on the production partnership, while his Volkswagen SA counterpart, Andile Dlamini, said: “The MOU between Volkswagen and Ford is still at group level. We are not yet privy to the details pertaining to which facilities will be allocated to the assembly of the Amarok. We can only confirm details once this has been communicated to us.”