go-furtherFord Motor Company South Africa held its inaugural Go Further event in Johannesburg on Thursday, 17 July, a first of its kind event in the MEA region.

The Go Further event exists in Australia, Amsterdam and Barcelona (which I attended in Feb 2014).

Ford is paying more attention to these markets and shared insights and future plans for the region, which included showcasing the Mustang, headed here by the end of 2015.

The event was open to the media, dealers and partners and not the public. One of the main reason for Go Further coming here was in the past, there were 3 business units managing Africa, so now it’s just one stream. Additionally, the South African market is huge (where the B-segment Figo is doing extremely well), and Sub Sahara being a key market. Ford says they’re being efficient with their investments, which lets them bring more products here. In the next two years, Ford plans to bring at least 17 new and refreshed vehicles to its lineup. This includes the Focus, Fusion, Ranger XL-Plus, Transit, Tourneo Connect and the most exciting of them all – the Mustang!

Product

According to Ford South Africa, there’s a huge interest in the Mustang, with dealerships being inundated with phone calls, and some offering to put down a R50 000 deposit for when the first lot of Mustangs get here. The Mustang will be available with its hallmark V8 engine or with an EcoBoost engine, when it goes on sale here next year. Orders will open in January 2015.

mustang

Also coming to the South African market is SYNC 2 (read my coverage from Barcelona here), Ford’s own in-car infotainment system. All South African Ford vehicles comes with the SYNC system as standard, except two models that don’t currently support it – Ranger and Figo (coming in the next-gen Figo). Ford touched a little on AppLink, which I saw in Barcelona earlier this year.

AppLink isn’t ready for South Africa just yet, Mike Kaufman tells Wired to the Web. “It requires a validation process and we will hold back until that is complete.” When AppLink does come to South Africa, you will be able to control apps on your phone via SYNC, and in a bid to make driving safer, once connected, you won’t be able to control it through your smartphone. The bottom line for AppLink is to limit distraction from the road, says Kaufman.

ford-go-further

The first vehicle to come with SYNC 2 is the Ford Focus, complete with an 8-inch touchscreen, minimal buttons, a navigation system with detailed mapping, climate control and more advanced voice commands.

Ford South Africa is definitely paying attention to our market and what I’m most looking forward to is when the Mustang officially gets here!

PS If you’re still unsure how SYNC works, check out my first hands-on with it here.

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