MOTORING with Augustine Moyo: New Ford Everest comes to Zim

The new Ford Everest
The new Ford Everest

THERE always comes this one beautiful person in one’s life that changes everything and makes your world beautiful.

Same goes for cars.

There are brands that have changed the face of motoring. You can count among these Mercedes-Benz, and you can also include Ford, which was the first affordable car in the world thanks to mass production as pioneered by Henry Ford.

Ford, according to Forbes magazine, is one of the most valuable brands in the world.

It caused quite a stir in 2011 when it debuted its Ford Ranger T6 truck.

Locally, the truck was launched in April 2012 in the City of Kings where the first Ford cars in Zimbabwe rolled in, giving Toyota a run for its money and shaking the double-cab sector in Southern Africa.

Mazda also released, in my view, the pathetic-looking BT50, which is still a very hard sell locally and has not been well received save for in Government.

The new Ford Ranger T6 represented a paradigm shift. It challenged all known conventional rules in design and set the bar – which will be hard to be better in the near future.

But we wait to see what the new Toyota Hilux will look like.

Ford went a step further by releasing the new Ford Mustang that will now be sold in global markets.

As if that was not enough from Ford, the company has now released the new Ford Everest that will hit Zimbabwe by the third quarter of this year.

The new Ford Everest was unveiled to the world in November last year in China after its concept car was displayed at the Bangkok International Auto Show in Thailand in March 2014.

If you see the new Everest, you will agree with me that Ford has gone ballistic and is definitely set to upset rivals in the SUV segment.

My, oh my, the new Ford Everest is worth waiting for and is worth owning.

My honest opinion is that the Chevrolet Trailblazer that is built on the Isuzu platform and Toyota’s Fortuner must go back to the drawing board and restrategise in the wake of what I would call the worst nightmare for them – the all-new Ford Everest.

The new Everest is built on the platform of the current Ford Ranger T6, and that should give you an idea of what is in store.

This one has been through it all, to hell and back, been tested in the cruellest conditions of the coldest climes and hottest temperatures a driver might have to endure.

And that is not all. Testing was also done at extreme altitudes. This saw the tests starting in the arid Xinjiang province of China to the base camp of Mt Everest, the highest mountain on earth. Surely, with the name Everest, “protocol” would have demanded that it goes to Mt Everest and prove that it’s worth the moniker.

Ford is determined to remain on top of the pile.

Last week, Ford Motor Company announced the hiring of long-time auto analyst and investment banker John Casesa as group vice-president (global strategy) as part of their commitment to accelerate its One Ford plan, deliver product excellence and drive innovation in every part of the business.

In a statement, Ford said Casesa’s “thought-leading research” had changed the way investors understood the auto industry.

In 1991, for example, he created the “Car Wars” report, which remains a benchmark for measuring automaker product competitiveness. In 2000, his “Who Makes the Car” report presented a new framework for understanding suppliers.

He will report directly to Ford’s president and chief executive officer, and his appointment, which comes into effect on the 1st of March, should see the company consolidate its position in the global auto industry and enhance its existing business strategies, including its ability to identify and evaluate new opportunities leading to profitable growth.

The new Everest will feature Ford’s latest generation 2-litre EcoBoost engine and the updated TDCi Duratorq diesel engines up to the 3,2-litre diesel.

If this product is to do well, Ford must pay attention to the problems that were associated with the Ranger T6 cooling system that resulted in a number of them having engines replaced under warranty.

The local availability of parts for the new Everest will make or break the brand as most of the time even the most basic items are not readily available for the Ranger T6.

Failure to attend to such will see customers losing faith in a vehicle that is actually a good brand.

It’s one thing to sell a Ford and it’s a totally different ball game altogether to guarantee after-sales service and back-up.

The new Everest is like nothing you have ever seen before and its size will definitely win it a lot of fans.

If you are looking for an SUV to buy this year, I think you need to hold on to your dollars and wait for the all-new Ford Everest.

 

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