No Clean Car fine for us thanks: Ford NZ taking 100 Ranger orders per day
Search Driven for Ford for sale
Ford New Zealand is currently taking 100 orders per day for the Ranger ute, as it embarks on what managing director Simon Rutherford calls a "tricky" last half of 2021. Feebates are now looming next year under the Government's Clean Car Programme.
As expected there's a rush for popular diesel utes, to avoid the emissions fines expected to come into effect in January 2022. Ranger has already reclaimed its place as NZ's number one vehicle, with 912 sales in June and a year-to-date figure of 5135.
"We've been struggling to catch up with demand on Ranger all year," says Rutherford. "However, our teams have done a fantastic job to protect production for Ranger and Everest [both built in Thailand]... we're ahead of Toyota Hilux and we have plenty of stock arriving right now.
"But there is massive demand and while we've got plenty arriving, we're also getting a huge number of orders. We're taking about 100 per day at the moment. That's pretty phenomenal."
Rutherford says the company has been working closely with dealers to manage customer expectations around supply and demand for all its models: "There's a trickiness in looking after our customers up to 31 December this year.
"We have to watch out for a couple of things. For a customer that wants to order a Ranger and it's going to incur a fee next year, we need to give them an indication of what that would be and work to the current timeline - which we think is December 31, but may get extended if it doesn't get made into law.
"But it can work the other way around, where a vehicle might get a rebate next year. In either situation, we have a conversation with the customer and make sure they have the choice [when to register the vehicle].
"For Ranger, the 3.2 [engine] will get more penalties; the 2.0 biturbo is actually really healthy and it's got all the power. We'll be managing our mix towards that as we head towards next year.
"But up until that point, we are only allocating a vehicle to a dealer when they provide a signed Vehicle Offer and Sale Agreement (VOSA). We're telling dealers which vehicles are not going to get delivered this year, and that's Mustang and Focus ST right now.
"On Ranger or Everest (above), where we have good supply, there's a first-come first-served policy. As we get towards the end of the year, we'll publish what's available. So as a customer we may not be able to give you choice number one, but we might be able to give you numbers two or three.
"We've being as transparent as we can be."
Everest, the Ranger's SUV sibling, is another 2021 sales success story. In 2019 Ford NZ sold 451, but this year it's forecasting over 1000, with much of that attributed to the new Sport model.
Its not all diesel last-orders. Electricity is also on the current Ford NZ agenda, especially in the commercial sphere. The company's Transit Custom PHEV range-extended van doesn't currently qualify for the Government EV rebate at its current $99,990 retail, but Rutherford says the company is restructuring the price so that it can "transact" at under $80k to qualify for the Clean Car Discount of $8625 from August.
Transit supply has been hit by the semiconductor shortage in Europe, but Ford NZ is hoping for better supply in 2022 - and bigger volume from the PHEV.
There's also an e-Transit fully electric van on the way, but that doesn't qualify for the feebate scheme because it's over 3.5 tonnes.
"Maybe that's something we can work through with the Government," says Rutherford.
Meanwhile, Ford NZ is also preparing for the launch of the Escape PHEV SUV in the third quarter.