Ranger rides high
THE Ford Ranger has claimed a rare victory over the Toyota HiLux, overtaking the nation’s top-selling pick-up for the first time in August.
The Ranger models, reardrive and 4WD, combined to tally 140 sales ahead of the Toyota last month, selling 2096 to the HiLux’s 1956. It was only the third month in the past three years the HiLux has been beaten — Mitsubishi’s Triton took the lead last December and Nissan’s Navara outsold it in January 2012.
August was the first time Ford has claimed a Toyota scalp on any vehicle in more than a decade.
The last time a new generation HiLux arrived — in March 2005 — Toyota ran out of stock during the switch between old and new models and the Holden Rodeo and Navara outsold it.
Australia’s favourite workhorse for the past 30-plus years, the HiLux still has a comfortable lead in year-todate sales, 23,316 versus the Ranger’s 18,253.
Ford is savouring the August victory but the celebrations probably will be short-lived. The HiLux is expected to get a sales boost with the arrival of the new model next month.
Toyota cleared out the $19,990 HiLux tradie utes, citing the Federal Government’s recent tax incentive for small businesses to claim a one-off deduction on “tools of trade” up to $20,000, rather than have the refunds spread out over eight years.
Toyota was one of the few brands with a suitable vehicle under the $20,000 threshold — but the tax announcement caught it unprepared.
“We basically ran out of them in June,” says sales and marketing boss Tony Cramb. “We couldn’t have predicted what the government was about to do.
“It definitely stimulated demand of that particular model. Within a couple of months they were gone.”
Reflecting on the Ranger closing the gap to the HiLux, Cramb says there is “room for everyone”.
HiLux sales are in their third year in a row of decline and are likely to finish about 10 per cent less than the peak of nearly 43,000 in 2008. Toyota says it has sold 320,000 examples of the outgoing model.