We know that the Ford Ranger is a staple in satisfying South Africans’ insatiable appetite for bakkies. While it plays second fiddle to the Hilux in Mzansi, it seems Ranger reigns supreme abroad.
According to Ford, international demand for Ford’s soon to be refreshed Ranger reached an all-time high in 2018, with the Blue Oval’s Silverton Assembly Plant in Pretoria having shipped a total of 68 364 units to export markets. This represents an increase of 16.2% compared to 2017, the company said in a statement.
Combined Ranger production for the domestic and export markets for 2018 ended on 98 505 units, 8 383 more than the previous year. This is the highest annual production volume to date for Ford’s South African operations, with December 2018 reaching a new monthly record of 11 091 combined Ranger sales.
“It was an extremely busy and successful year for our export business in 2018, as we attained our highest-ever production volume for the Ford Ranger, and boosted our export volumes by 16.2% to retain our undisputed leadership of the light commercial vehicle (LCV) export segment,” said Neale Hill, Managing Director, Ford Motor Company Sub-Saharan Africa Region.
Hill said that the Ranger is becoming increasingly popular amongst European buyers, citing the SA-built bakkie’s capability, performance, quality, technology applications and safety as the catalysts for this.
The bulk of Ranger exports from South Africa were destined for European markets, with Ford of Europe moving 51 500 units. Based on the latest available figures, this cemented the Ranger’s position as the king of the hill in the European bakkie segment, claiming 27.7% market share – up 1.4 percentage points year-on-year.
“The success of the Ranger is reflected in the market share it enjoys in Europe, a region that represents some of the most critical and fastidious customers in the world,” Hill stated. “This is a credit to all our employees and suppliers that play an integral role helping us to grow the crucial export business even further, while continuing to ensure that we deliver top-quality vehicles to our customers locally and around the world.” The Ranger also contributed to Ford of Europe attaining its best commercial vehicle sales volume in 25 years, as well as its highest commercial vehicle market share since 1995, at 14.1%.
We keenly wait to see what impact the launch of the new Ranger will have on sales both locally and abroad.