Showroom supplies of the Ford Ranger are starting to run low in parts of Australia – and some dealers are concerned replacement stock may not arrive in time for June, the end-of-financial-year and customarily the biggest month for ute sales.
Both Ford Ranger factories in Thailand are due to restart production today after being closed for more than a month – since March 27 – due to the coronavirus crisis.
Some Australian showrooms are starting to run out of key models such the Ford Ranger Wildtrak powered by the 2.0-litre twin turbo and 10-speed auto – after demand picked up in the past two weeks as governments began easing some lockdown restrictions.
The dramatic slowdown in new-car sales in April – the biggest month-to-month drop in at least 30 years – has left most showrooms overstocked with vehicles, creating a buyer’s market and prompting sharper than normal deals.
However, supplies of the Ford Ranger – Australia’s second best-selling car behind the Toyota HiLux ute – are patchy across the country, CarAdvice has been told.
“Some dealers are worried they’re about to run out of stock, while others are worried they have too many,” a major metropolitan Ford dealer told CarAdvice.
Another Ford source said there should be enough stock of the Ford Ranger to last until new shipments arrive, but conceded there were pockets across Australia that were close to running out, and other areas that had too many vehicles.
As is normal industry practice, dealers have the flexibility to source vehicles from other showrooms, including from interstate.
However, this adds delivery delays and transport costs – and it is at each dealer’s discretion whether they will surrender a vehicle wanted by another outlet.
When asked about a possible shortage of certain Ford Ranger models – due to the six-week pause in production in Thailand – a spokesman told CarAdvice: “We don’t see this affecting Ranger or Everest stock in the short-term, and would suggest customers reach out to their preferred dealer for specific details and support”.
Ford Australia confirmed the two Thailand factories that assemble the Ranger will restart today.
One factory owned wholly by Ford makes most variants of the Ranger, while a second factory shared with Mazda makes cab-chassis models.
Meanwhile, as reported by last week, the Toyota HiLux is facing the opposite scenario.
The introduction of the facelifted and more powerful version of the Toyota HiLux has been delayed due to oversupply of the current model – both in showrooms and in large shipments on the water.
The updated Toyota HiLux was originally due in the third week of July, however Toyota dealers asked the arrival of the new model be delayed until current stock clears.
The arrival timing of the updated Toyota HiLux is now yet to be confirmed, however it is expected by the end of 2020.