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.

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