All-purpose ute a Kiwi favourite
As Ford New Zealand continues to celebrate the success of the Ranger ute, the company is ramping up for a strong finish to 2015.
The Ranger was New Zealand’s top-selling vehicle last month with 735 vehicles registered over Toyota’s 621 Corollas.
Year to date the Ranger remains the top-selling commercial vehicle model with 16 per cent market share (4228 vehicles) followed by the Toyota Hilux with 14 per cent (3572 vehicles).
Ranger’s August figures include the runout ute and the new facelift model. Toyota is to launch a new Hilux in late November but its impact won’t be see in sales data until early 2016.
Ford NZ’s managing director, Corey Holter, wasn’t surprised by the success of the Ranger.
“The new Ranger has been so well-received by the dealers and the initial buying public that I think we’re just going to go from strength to strength.”
He said two models — the XLT and Wildtrak — were the top picks for buyers. “In the past we’ve been supply restrained, but for this month we had 85 per cent XLT and Wildtrak and 75 per cent automatic and we brought in more than a 1000 in August.
“The Ranger has appeal across a variety of buyers. It’s not just the tradies, not just farmers, you find it’s selling well in the urban environment as well because of its dual-purpose nature. It can be a family vehicle.”
Ford NZ has high-profile launches coming up with the first-ever Everest large SUV on sale later this month, the Focus (see driven.co.nz for details) in dealerships in October and the much-anticipated Mustang sports car on sale in November.
“We should be up year-on-year for sales. In August we were up 8.5 per cent year-on-year. Because of the launches we have planned, it’s going to be a very big last quarter,” said Holter.
The company has had 425 customer orders for the Mustang, with a $5000 deposit for each.
“It’s by and large what we were expecting,” said Holter. “We were pleasantly surprised that those expectations have come true and I think that by the time they arrive we could have well over 500 orders.
“What we’re able to do is take that order bank, go to the factory and ask for sufficient quantities. At this point we can get what we need.”
And the plans for 2016? Holter said it will be a year of capitalising on the launches Ford New Zealand has had this year. “So we’re really excited about having such fresh products going forward.”