Ford is urgently trying to address stock shortages of the Ranger ute in the lead up to June 30 – customarily the biggest month of the year for ute sales – after its two Thailand factories paused production for six weeks due to the coronavirus crisis.
Some dealers are running out of Ford Rangers because the market has recovered faster than anticipated in the wake of the COVID-19 lockdowns, while others have plentiful supplies.
In normal circumstances, dealers would trade stock among themselves.
However, many are holding out and not letting go of existing stock due to the anticipated sales spike in the lead-up to the end of financial year.
CarAdvice has been told that Ford Australia made an urgent call to see if the Thailand factories could work over a weekend to deliver an extra 1000 or so Ranger utes.
It is not known if the vehicles will make it to showrooms before June 30, but Ford dealers have been told that customers hopefully won’t need to wait too long to take delivery if they place an order this month.
Ford is keen to replenish Ranger stock as it is in a neck-and-neck race with the Toyota HiLux.
The Toyota HiLux is market leader when 4x2 and 4x4 models are combined – as is standard industry practice.
However, the Ford Ranger outsold the Toyota HiLux in the 4x4 category for the first three months of 2020 – and currently leads the year-to-date 4x4 tally, to the end of April.
While April saw a dramatic industry-wide sales slide of 48.5 per cent, a number of major car dealers canvassed by CarAdvice claim the market started to show signs of recovery in late April and through most of May.