Ranger outsells Hilux two-to-one for May
Kiwi sales of the Ford Ranger cracked the magic 1000 mark for May.
Not for the first time, mind - it also hit four figures in June last year, on the back of Fieldays. But this still represents a preFieldays mega-month for Ford New Zealand, with the pickup retaining its spot as the nation’s number one new vehicle - and outselling arch-rival Toyota Hilux by nearly two-to-one.
Ford NZ sold 1017 Rangers in May, compared with 582 registrations for Hilux. The pair were still number one and two overall, followed by the Toyota Highlander (467), Nissan Navara (466) and Mitsubishi Triton (437).
Ford NZ marketing manager Jeremy Nash credits Ranger’s near-record performance to a number of factors: "There’s a seasonal spike around Fieldays that’s not just for June. We’ve had short supply of the Ranger 4x2 XLT, with 3-6 months of forward orders on that particular derivative.
"We also had stock arriving at just the right time, with 400 additional units of the 4x2 FX4 special edition that we’d brought into the country."
Nash says Ford has been focused on moving away from "plug in, plug out" retail specials in favour of sustaining the right price and specification in the long-term.
Although Ford NZ has also been giving away Weber Q barbecues with Rangers. Who wouldn’t be tempted by that?
Will Ranger go even higher with help from Fieldays this month? "I think there’s a good chance," says Nash.
A Toyota NZ spokesperson told Stuff Motoring that the company was still pleased with the May Hilux result as it was in a "transition period for the Drive Happy [retail restructure] project" and registrations were still 27 per cent up on the previous month.
"Our registered sales results are based on physical deliveries to customers rather than orders or registrations.
"Our top of the range SR5 Cruiser has done extremely well in both April and May so we have a large quantity on back order. Also, unlike competitors our Fieldays promotion starts in June so we are confident this growth will continue."
In the overall new-vehicle market, this was the strongest May on record for the NZ motor industry. New registrations of 14,169 were up sharply on April, increasing by 10.5 per cent.
Toyota remained market leader with 18 per cent share, followed by Ford (11 per cent) and Mazda (8 per cent).
The top-selling segment for May was Medium SUV, with 16 per cent share. This was closely followed by Pickup/Cab Chassis 4x4 (15 per cent) and SUV Large (also 15 per cent).
SUVs accounted for 43 per cent of the overall market and light commercials 30 per cent.
Those numbers don’t leave a lot of room for everything else. Passenger cars are once again an endangered species on the topsellers list; the number one "car" for May was the Toyota Corolla at 295 registrations (including 73 rentals) - enough for it to sneak in at number 10 overall for the month.
Special edition Ranger FX4 helped boost numbers big-time in May.