Ford’s plan to hold 15% mar­ket share in South Africa bears fruit

The Witness - Wheels - - FRONT PAGE - AL­WYN VILJOEN

ERICA KLAMPFL fu­ture mo­bil­ity man­ager at Ford Mo­tor Com­pany Ford’s eBike is aimed at re­duc­ing con­ges­tion by al­low­ing small busi­nesses and courier com­pa­nies to de­liver goods with­out neg­a­tively im­pact­ing on traf­fic.”

“OUR plan is work­ing,” said Rob Crouse, Ford South Africa’s sales and mar­ket­ing di­rec­tor.

Speak­ing at Ford’s sec­ond an­nual Go Fur­ther Africa event, held in Johannesburg on Au­gust 11, Crouse was re­fer­ring to the 15% mar­ket share Ford now en­joys in South Africa.

Jeff Nemith, pres­i­dent and CEO Ford Mo­tor Com­pany of Sub-Sa­ha­ran Africa re­gion, pre­dicts this share will grow on the back of eight new Fords com­ing to Africa, a new assem­bly plant in Nige­ria, and even two Ford elec­tric bi­cy­cles.

These eight mod­els are the all-wheel drive Fo­cus RS hatch­back; the more fuel-ef­fi­cient Ranger bakkie range; the Ever­est SUV, which ar­rives at deal­er­ships across Africa in the fourth quar­ter; the Mus­tang; the af­ford­able Figo sedan; the B-MAX with its slid­ing doors; the Edge sedan and, fi­nally, the 3,7-litre, V6 Ex­plorer Po­lice In­ter­cep­tor, the topselling law-en­force­ment ve­hi­cle in the United States and brought to south­ern Africa on the ad­vice of the Ford Po­lice Ad­vi­sory Board in the U.S.

Erica Klampfl, fu­ture mo­bil­ity man­ager at Ford Mo­tor Com­pany, said the e-bikes form part of Ford’s plan to cre­ate “the next level in con­nec­tiv­ity, mo­bil­ity, au­ton­o­mous ve­hi­cles, big data and an over­all em­pha­sis on im­prov­ing the cus­tomer ex­pe­ri­ence”.

“The eBike is de­signed for all types of com­mer­cial uses and is aimed at re­duc­ing con­ges­tion by al­low­ing small busi­nesses and courier com­pa­nies to de­liver goods with­out neg­a­tively im­pact­ing on traf­fic,” said Klampfl.

She said to help change the way the world moves, Ford is also gath­er­ing and min­ing big data through an open source pro­ject called Ford X-Car So­cial In­no­va­tion Ac­tion Part­ner­ship (SIAP).

Nemeth said Ford is part­ner­ing with Coscharis Mo­tors group in Nige­ria to as­sem­ble Ranger bakkies in Ikeja, in the La­gos State. The bod­ies will be sourced from the Sil­ver­ton plant in Pre­to­ria and en­gines from Struan­dale plant in Port El­iz­a­beth. “This means more work for the plants and their sup­pli­ers,” said Nemeth, adding Nige­ria will be the sec­ond African coun­try to build Ford ve­hi­cles, To ser­vice its mod­els across Africa, Ford also plans to have 22 Quick Lane Tyre and Auto Cen­tre across Sub-Sa­ha­ran Africa by 2018.

PHOTO: SUPPLIED

The all-wheel drive Fo­cus RS hatch­back.

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