ANGOLA – A two-week, cross-country trek served as the launch of the all-new Ford Ranger in Angola.
The pick-up went on sale there in January. Ford Export and Growth’s (E&G) Angolan dealer, Robert Hudson, was one of the main supporters of the annual Raid TT Kwanza Sul (Cross Country Raid Kwanza Sul). This was the first year the company was the supporting manufacturer, providing the Ford Ranger as the official vehicle.
Earlier this summer, sixteen Rangers carrying 40 people traveled about 5,800 km (3,600 miles) in two weeks, meeting the group’s goal to travel to the remotest regions of the country.
By all accounts, the Ranger performed spectacularly in what Eugene Prinsloo, senior marketing manager of E&G’s Sub-Saharan Africa region, termed the worst possible conditions.
“It was amazing. The Rangers had no technical issues besides some flat tyres. All of the participants mentioned the comfort and quality of the pick-ups as exceeding their best expectations.”
Crossing the border to Namibia and the trip’s southern stages – which are in the middle of nothing, according to Pedro Cristin, one of the event organizers – were particularly challenging. He said the handling on sand and the comfort of the ride were very much appreciated. “The participants thought so highly of the Ranger that three of them bought the one they drove immediately after the raid.”
The excursion also became an example of Ford’s promise to Go Further. One of the trucks in the caravan served as a makeshift ambulance, transporting a 7-year-old boy with a broken femur to a hospital 80 kilometers away. Another time, a doctor participating in the raid provided medical assistance to a 10-year-old boy in a remote village in the province of Huambo.
The raid is tied into tourism and originally involved a desire to visit a territory that had been closed to the outside world for years because of civil war. The event’s purpose is to publicize the inland of Angola and its history. It’s promoted by the province of Kwanza Sul (Angola) in partnership with the town council of Almada (Portugal).
“It is with great pleasure that Robert Hudson is associated with this excellent initiative to promote the historic sites and natural beauty of Angola, the country where we are for more than 100 years,” said André Castro Pinheiro, the managing director of Robert Hudson.
“Like the Raid TT Kwanza Sul, Robert Hudson also intends to cover the entire territory of Angola, with the aim of servicing the Ford brand at different sites and locations, contributing to the development of the country and its people,” Castro Pinheiro added. “We are planning to expand to Cabinda, Zaire, Cunene and Huambo, in addition to the five provinces where we are already present.”