Innovation And Mobility The Focal Points At Ford Go Further Africa 2015
Ford Motor Company held its second annual Go Further Africa event today at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg.
The action-packed programme revealed eight exciting new models for African markets, detailed its new assembly plant in Nigeria, and highlighted its wide range of far-reaching corporate social investment initiatives.
“Go Further is Ford’s brand promise, and the dazzling array of new products, high-tech innovations and solutions presented at this amazing event are proof of how Ford is indeed going further and creating an exciting new world,” said Jeff Nemeth, president & CEO Ford Motor Company of Sub-Saharan Africa region.
“As much as we are a car company, Ford is also a people company. Our investment in the community across Africa – through various health, education and mobility projects is as fundamental to our business as producing vehicles, as this is key to unleashing the potential of the African continent.” Nemeth stated.
The central theme for Go Further Africa is “Innovation and Mobility”, which showcases Ford’s vision for the future. Ford Smart Mobility is the company’s plan to use innovation to create the next level in connectivity, mobility, autonomous vehicles, big data and an overall emphasis on improving the customer experience.
Ford is expanding its multi-modal approach to urban mobility. One of the innovations on show at Go Further Africa was the Mode:Pro eBike, a customizable electric bike experiment making its debut in Africa. 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. The company also has a smartwatch application experiment aimed at making urban journeys easier for business owners.
Taking Ford Smart Mobility to the next level is the Ford X-Car Social Innovation Action Partnership (SIAP).The Ford X-Car supports public-private partnerships by using the vehicle as a transportation backbone to deliver goods and services to under-served communities.
Ford Mobility experiments will provide significant insight through data analytics that will help to deliver advanced new products, use technology to change the way the world moves and devise mobility solutions for millions by working with various partners.
Ford is working with World Vision in Africa to build a learning community to create value-added opportunities including community health programs, medicine and vaccine delivery as well as economic empowerment of women.
Ford is also working with Riders for Health, an organisation that manages and maintains fleets that transport healthcare workers to patients who need help. The Data Driven Healthcare project conducted in The Gambia uses Ranger’s and Everest fitted with Ford OpenXC technology to assist with mobilizing rural outreach healthcare.
Additionally, Ford Motor Company Fund donated $75 000 to Riders for Health towards essential vehicle support, training and maintenance services to ensure that health care services are delivered more efficiently to an increased number of people across the country.
Ford has also launched the College Community Challenge with the global non-profit organisation Enactus. Ford and Enactus are working with universities in selected African markets including South Africa, Kenya, Ghana and Morocco. This programme empowers students to make a difference by creating sustainable projects that address particular needs in their local communities. The “Change the World Innovation Challenge” was announced and Ford South Africa was the first country to issue a grant of $25 000 towards the innovation challenge.
Expanding African Footprint
Ford Motor Company today announced it will assemble its popular Ford Ranger pickup truck in Nigeria starting in the fourth quarter of 2015 as part of its expansion in Middle East and Africa. Nigeria will be the first African country outside of South Africa where Ford vehicles are produced.
Ranger assembly will begin in Ikeja, in the Lagos State about 750 km southwest of Nigeria’s capital city Abuja. Ford is partnering with Ford dealer group Coscharis Motors Limited on the project.
In addition, Ford is expanding its footprint of Quick Lane Tyre and Auto Centres across the region, and will have 22 facilities in operation by the end of 2017.
Two new Quick Lanes have opened their doors in Uganda and Mauritius and will be followed by two more later this year. This builds on the nine facilities opened between 2012 and 2014. Quick Lane Tyre and Auto Centres are an initiative of Ford Motor Company, with facilities that offer motorists the option of having professional maintenance performed for minor service items in the shortest amount of time. Quick Lane offers personalized care, quality and value for money.
All-New Focus RS
The undisputed star of Go Further Africa 2015 is the all-new Ford Focus RS which will make its South Africa debut in 2016, which was shown locally for the first time. This scintillating performance road car pioneers innovative Ford Performance All-Wheel Drive, and delivers class-leading cornering speed for thrilling dynamics and unbridled driving enjoyment.
Focus RS introduces advanced performance technologies, and is the first Ford RS equipped with selectable drive modes – including an industry-first drift mode, as well as launch control. With a 2.3-litre EcoBoost engine delivering 257kW of power and 440Nm of torque, the high-performance road car also features the most powerful Ford RS braking system ever.
Ford’s tougher and smarter new Ranger was revealed at Go Further Africa, setting a new benchmark in the pickup truck segment with an uncompromised blend of robust capability, craftsmanship and advanced technology.
Due to be launched in Sub-Saharan Africa in the fourth quarter of 2015, it will once again be produced at Ford’s Silverton Assembly Plant in Pretoria and exported to 148 markets.
Featuring a new look front end, and a stylish, smart and functional new interior, the new Ranger builds upon a reputation of capability, innovation and comfort that has helped the Ranger to stand apart from traditional pickup trucks. It also boasts an array of new cutting-edge technologies that enable new and more practical solutions to everyday challenges.
The new Ranger’s impressive power, capability, payload and towing capacity are made possible thanks to powerful and now more efficient engines paired to either a six-speed automatic or manual transmission. All the engines available provide Ranger customers a winning combination of power and efficiency in all conditions, and help to underscore Ford’s fun-to-drive promise.
The all-new Ford Everest was shown for the first time on African soil, featuring bold design, advanced technology, stunning off-road and on-road capabilities and a refined, premium interior for up to seven occupants.
With a rugged, sculptural design that reflects its unshakeable toughness and technological prowess, the new Everest blends strength, smart features and style to bring consumers a tough and versatile SUV with true off-road capability.
One of the toughest SUVs in its segment, the Everest has a body-on-frame design, assuring the torsional strength required for challenging terrains. Together with an intelligent four-wheel drive system, an active transfer case with Torque on Demand, Terrain Management System, ground clearance of 225 mm and water-wading capability of 800 mm, the Everest helps drivers navigate difficult terrain with ease.
The all-new Ford Everest is one of the most technologically advanced off-road SUVs available, and boasts SYNC 2, Curve Control, Blind Spot Information System (BLIS) with Cross Traffic Alert, Roll Stability Control, Electronic Stability Programme and Active Park Assist.
The new Everest will arrive at dealerships across Africa in the 4th quarter.
The highly anticipated Ford Mustang is one step closer to being launched in right-hand drive Sub-Saharan Africa markets with the local debut of the stylish Mustang Cabriolet at Go Further Africa 2015, along with the sophisticated Fastback previewed last year.
Loaded with innovative technologies and delivering high levels of performance and style, the all-new Mustang is the next chapter in the life of one of the world’s most iconic cars.
With 320kW on tap, the 5.0-litre V8 fastback model with six-speed manual transmission reaches 100 km/h from a standing start in 4.8 seconds – making this one of the fastest Fords yet.
The Mustang’s all-new 228kW 2.3 EcoBoost engine uses direct injection, variable cam timing and turbocharging to deliver plenty of usable performance across a broad RPM range. A unique intake manifold and turbocharger housing enable it to produce the performance Mustang drivers expect with a 0-100km sprint time of 5.8 sec.
The all-new Ford Figo, due in Southern Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa markets in the fourth quarter of 2015, is destined to be a compact car champion by offering unprecedented levels of style, feature-rich smart technologies and high levels of safety, while retaining the Figo’s established reputation for superb fuel efficiency and overall value.
It combines contemporary styling, a whole new range of Ford’s trend-setting technologies, as well as a modern and welcoming cabin that offers more space and improved safety.
For the first time, the Figo will be available in two body styles, including a five-door hatchback as well as the new four-door sedan shown at Go Further.
Innovative smart features that will impress tech-savvy buyers include a new device-docking station that serves as the driver’s connection point to the world of mobility, Ford’s SYNC ® integrated multimedia and connectivity system, Bluetooth with Voice Activation and the programmable MyKey function.
The new Ford B-MAX, to be launched in South Africa imminently, features a unique design, superb fuel economy and unrivalled small car technology, making it among the most advanced compact cars on the market.
Based on Ford’s global B-car platform – shared with the highly successful Fiesta – the
B-MAX presents the company’s vision for a premium compact multi-activity vehicle (MAV), combining outstanding space and versatility within a smart and stylish exterior.
The B-MAX’s Ford Easy Access Door System provides unobstructed entry and exit with hinged front doors and sliding rear doors integrating the central body pillars, rather than forming part of the bodyshell itself.
When both front and rear doors are open there is outstanding access to the interior, with a huge, clear aperture more than 1.5 metres wide. The flexible seating system features 60/40 split rear seats that can be folded flat with a simple “one-hand, one-motion” mechanism.
This exciting new model also achieves exceptional fuel economy and among the lowest CO2 emissions. The line-up features the 2012, 2013 and 2014 “International Engine of the Year” 1.0-litre Ford EcoBoost petrol engine which provides outstanding fuel economy and low CO2 emissions.
The innovative new B-MAX offers a wide range of Ford’s latest smart technologies, including SYNC ®, Ford’s voice-activated in-car connectivity system and Active City Stop.
The all-new Ford Edge features a unique design, superb technology and unrivalled comfort – all of which set new benchmarks for Ford utility vehicles. It will be available in selected Sub-Saharan Africa markets in 2016.
Edge will be offered with a 2.0-litre EcoBoost engine, tuned to deliver a balanced mix of fuel economy and performance. A normally aspirated, 3.5-litre V6 engine will also be available. A unique Sport model will feature Ford’s most advanced EcoBoost yet – a 2.7-litre V6, along with standard 21-inch wheels.
Smart technology is available on the Edge to improve efficiency. Auto Start-Stop improves fuel economy by turning off the engine when it is not needed. It also features smart air inlets at the front that can direct air along the vehicle sides – creating an “air curtain” – to enable greater aerodynamic efficiency at high speeds.
The Edge will be available with front camera technology to help drivers see better in certain conditions, enhanced Active Park Assist to enable perpendicular and parallel parking in tight quarters and Ford’s new inflatable rear safety belts.