Ford’s South African factory has secured an export contract to supply the Ranger pickup truck to African markets.

According to local auto website, the automaker expects to produce about 10,000 export vehicles in the rest of this year with a rise to 24,000 units in 2009 and 40,000 by 2010.

Exports of right-hand drive Ranger models from Ford’s Silverton facility just outside Pretoria started in April while left-hand drive units will follow in July, the report said.

Rangers for other markets outside the US (which gets a unique locally-produced version) are built in Thailand.