Here’s something nobody would have predicted a few years ago: the Ford Ranger ute was Australia’s number-one selling new vehicle in September.
The Australia-developed light commercial trumped its Toyota HiLux nemesis, and regular market-toppers such as the Toyota Corolla and Mazda 3, with 4318 monthly sales — 87 per cent of which were more expensive 4x4s versions.
All up, Ford sold 3769 Ranger 4x4s compared to 2907 HiLux 4x4s. This figure was more than four-times greater than that managed by the Holden Colorado, and well more than double the volume managed by the much cheaper Mitsubishi Triton.
Meanwhile in the 4x2 segment Ford sold 549 Rangers last month, second behind the HiLux (915) — the constant number-one there.
Despite the massive September haul, the HiLux remains Australia’s number one vehicle this year with 35,229 sales. Yet with a total of 32,620, the Ranger has increased its volumes by 21 per cent over the same period in 2016 — triple the overall segment growth of about 7 per cent YTD.
For context, the Ranger represents a staggering (and perhaps worrisome) 54 per cent of Ford’s total sales in Australia this year.
It’s also interesting to know that the HiLux and Ranger are easily Australia’s most popular new vehicles, ahead of the Corolla YTD with 28,665. Utes in general have a combined market share this year of 17.3 per cent, almost the same as small cars' and greater than medium SUVs'.
As we know, a significant proportion — often above 50 per cent — of Rangers sold are the higher-end XLT and Wildtrak models that retail from about $60k upwards. In 2018, Ford will introduce a Ranger Raptor model into the line-up, taking this up another level altogether.
Across Ford’s commercial lineup, the Transit and Transit Custom range also recorded strong September results, with the addition of an automatic transmission and new 2.0-litre EcoBlue engine earlier in 2017.
Since the arrival of the six-speed automatic, Transit sales have increased by 11 per cent according to company data, with Transit Custom sales up a substantial 31 per cent year-on-year, with its September sales the best on record.
September saw Ford take an overall 23 per cent share of Australia’s light commercial (utes and vans) market, behind Toyota on 27.7 per cent — meaning this pair owned more than half the market between them.
September 2017 top-ten vehicles overall
Sales - September 2017
Change over 2016
up 48.7 per cent
up 19.1 per cent
down 10.8 per cent
down 20.5 per cent
up 7.7 per cent
down 16.1 per cent
up 12.1 per cent
up 0.5 per cent
up 80.6 per cent
down 28.2 per cent
Keep an eye out for a more detailed VFACTS market sales wrap soon.
Listen to the CarAdvice team discuss September 2017 VFACTS below, and catch more like this at caradvice.com/podcast.