The Ford Bantam is a "bakkie" (pickup truck or "ute") sold bi the Ford Motor Company in Sooth Africae. It is based on the Ford Fiesta, an is a Sooth African design as well as being produced in Sooth African for the local market. The original Ford Bantam (1) launched in 1983 wis based on the Ford Escort Mk III. It wis produced in the Ford plant in Port Elizabeth an later in the Samcor plant in Pretorie when Ford divested frae Sooth Africae. Bantam 1 wis replaced bi the Bantam 2, wi a Mazda 323 6t generation-based Ford Laser front end, an wis also brandit Mazda Rustler.
The Bantam 3 wis launched in 2002, uisin the Ford Fiesta Mark V (Code named BE91) front end, but still wi the Bantam 1 loadbox an basic rear suspension. It is produced in the same plant in Pretorie (Nou belongin tae Ford again). Ingines wur 1.3L 8V an 1.6L 8V SOHC Rocam petrol ingines an a 1.8L idi normally aspirated Diesel ingine. The Bantam 3 shares anerlie the front end wi the Brazilian Ford Courier , wi totally different rear ends. In 2006, the Bantam 3 benefited frae a mild front end an interior face lift. The 1.8L idi Diesel ingine wis dropped frae the line up. In early 2009, the Bantam wis faceliftit again wi new bonnet, headlamps, bumper, rear lichts, nomenclature, instrument cluster an interior trim. A Diesel ingine wis an aa introduced tae the range, the Ford / PSA 1.4 DV4 or Ford DLD ingine.
The Bantam is sold successfully as a compact ruggit commercial vehicle as well as a leisure orientit privately awned vehicle.