AFRICANGLOBE – Ford Motor Co. announced Tuesday it will start building its Ranger pickup in Nigeria, beginning in the fourth quarter of this year.
It marks the first country on the continent outside of South Africa where Ford will build its cars, as the automaker expands in the Middle East and Africa region.
The new plant in Ikeja, Nigeria will create about 180 new jobs, and will have the capacity to produce up to 5,000 units each year. The Dearborn automaker is partnering with Nigerian dealer group Coscharis Motors Limited for the project.
“Assembling Ford Ranger trucks in Africa’s largest economy is an important milestone in our Middle East and Africa growth plan,” Jim Benintende, president of Ford Middle East & Africa, said in a release. “With Coscharis we have the right partner and with the Ford Ranger we have the right product to deliver a world class truck that Nigerian customers want and value.”
The Ford Ranger is sold in some 180 markets around the world, but the U.S. and Canada are not among them. That’s because the midsize pickup is reportedly too close in size to the Ford F-150.
In South Africa, Ford produces the Ranger for 148 markets in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The midsize pickup was the best-selling vehicle in South Africa in the first half of this year, according to Ford. It’s sold in 24 countries in Africa.
The last Ford Ranger built for North America rolled of an assembly line in St. Paul, Minn. at the end of 2011.
By: David Muller
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