Ford announced today that APAC retail sales of the Ranger during the first six months of this calendar year rose more than 21 per cent from the previous year, to a record 63,525 units - one-third of which were in Australia, where it's the market's second most popular vehicle behind the rival Toyota HiLux.
Additionally, the Ranger is the best-selling ute in Vietnam, Taiwan, Cambodia and New Caledonia as well as the number-one best-selling vehicle overall in New Zealand. Hardly huge markets, but at the very least it's symbolically important.
It's important for Ford Asia-Pacific's global design and development hub in Victoria that Ranger does well, given the ongoing durability and real-world testing and development that continues. Additionally, one must consider beyond this.
Ford announced an increased Australian R&D investment of $450 million in 2017 to support increased vehicle development programs. By this year, Ford will have a nearly 2000 person strong team in Australia, including 1750 engineers, designers and technicians - and the T6-based Ranger is the major driver.
As we know, the next update for the Ranger will be sold in the US from 2019, and will be accompanied by a new Bronco SUV in 2020 - based on a version of the body-on-frame T6 architecture that underpins the Ranger and Everest, the latter with its more SUV-friendly setup with a Watt’s linkage.
For the US and Canada, and possibly Mexico too, both the Bronco and Ranger will be built at Ford’s Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, replacing the Focus and C-Max currently made there. We get our stock from Thailand.
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