The Ford Ranger ute line-up last month outsold the blue oval brand’s entire passenger car range — encompassing the Fiesta, Focus, Mondeo and Falcon — combined.
According to monthly VFACTS figures released today, Ford sold 2405 Rangers, comprising 1940 4x4 versions (up 29.2 per cent) and 465 4x2s (actually down 11.4 per cent), finishing a clear second in the segment behind only the eternal champion, Toyota’s HiLux (3228).
See our complete VFACTS breakdown here.
This is no doubt cause for celebration for Ford. The company has shown strong form all year in the light-commercial space by growing its 4x2 Ranger sales by 30.1 per cent year-to-date and 4x4 sales by 23.0 per cent.
This is particularly impressive when you consider that the overall light-commercial market is down 3.7 per cent this year and fell 1.9 per cent just in October.
However, the contrast between the Ranger and Ford's passenger range was marked last month. In this context, we refer to passenger cars as separate from SUVs and commercials, in line with VFACTS categorisation.
The Fiesta (427 units, down 40.4 per cent), Focus (940 units, down 34.4 per cent) and Falcon (396 units, down 63.2 per cent) all had marked declines. Only the Mondeo (299 units, up 59.9 per cent) went in a positive direction.
When you consider the Focus with 940 units was the second top-selling Ford behind the Ranger’s 2405 unit figure, you begin to see just how reliant on the Australian-engineered but Thai-built ute the car maker is becoming.
It should be pointed out in fairness that the Falcon is soon to be replaced by the updated FG X, and sales generally do weaken at this time, though rarely to such a degree.
This is all somewhat in line with an annual trend in which sales of the Fiesta, Focus and Falcon have fallen compared with the same 10-month period last year by 22.7 per cent, 21.0 per cent and 34.3 per cent respectively. The Mondeo is up YTD 3.7 per cent, against the mid-sized market trend.
All told, Ford sold just 2062 passenger vehicles for the month. Not only was this lower than the Ranger’s total alone, it staggeringly fell short of the number of passenger vehicles sold by Mercedes-Benz, which moved 2248 units (up 46.0 per cent) on the back of record C-Class deliveries.
Few people would have predicted in recent times that Mercedes-Benz would sell more passenger vehicles in a calendar month than Ford.
In the SUV space, Ford also had an ordinary October. SUV sales across the industry grew 9.7 per cent but Ford’s market share dropped 6.4 per cent. This is in spite of the fact it has a contender, the EcoSport (208 sales last month, all incremental), that it didn’t have in October last year.
The Kuga, which will be upgraded next month, managed 488 deliveries, down 4.7 per cent, while the Australian-made Territory fell 25.7 per cent to 838 units, though it should be noted that, like the Falcon, it is being updated early next month.
In the commercial space beyond Ranger it was a mixed bag. The company shifted 186 units of the Falcon Ute, down 46.1 per cent, though the new Transit Custom van outsold its successor almost two-to-one year-on-year.
The sum total of all this is that Ford’s monthly sales were 6337 units, down 15.3 per cent. YTD it has moved 67,924 cars, down 6.2 per cent in a market down 1.9 per cent. That said, it remains in fifth spot so far this year behind Toyota, Holden, Mazda and Hyundai.