It was announced on Thursday that the highly acclaimed Ford Territory SUV, shown at Auto Africa last year, would be exported to South Africa.

It was announced on Thursday that the highly acclaimed Ford Territory SUV, shown at Auto Africa last year, would be exported to South Africa.

Tom Gorman, president of Ford Australia (where the Territory is produced) made the announcement saying that the South African line-up will include three models, including a top-of-the-range Ghia with all-wheel drive.

"The SUV market in South Africa is replicating what we are seeing here in Australia, and has grown more than 60 per cent since 2002,” Gorman said.

"Ford South Africa was very interested in the development of Territory and made an official approach to us early in 2004. We sent a prototype vehicle over there midway through 2004, and the Ford South Africa team were very impressed by the combination of SUV versatility and car-like dynamics."

The programme to ensure the Territory complies with the South African Bureau of Standards regulations began in July 2004, Gorman reported.

"Following the success of the Ford Territory in Australia, we expect this exciting new SUV to do well in South Africa," said Robert Graziano, president and chief executive of Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa. "Considering the revitalisation Ford is currently experiencing in South Africa, the Territory arrives at an opportune time to assist in our efforts to take the brand to greater heights.

"South Africa has unique driving conditions involving high altitudes and high speeds, but the excellent work of the Australian development team involved with Territory meant little change was required."

Changes include modifications to the frames of the bench seat, anti-shatter tape fitted to the back of the rear vision mirrors, an Interior Command Centre with recessed control knobs and a new radiator.

With the exception of a DVD satellite navigation system, the entire range of Territory accessories will be offered to South African buyers.

The first South African model should be completed at the Broadmeadows assembly plant later this month.

Original article from Car