Future Models - Ford 2011 Ranger

Ford 2011 Ranger Destined for success: Ford is confident that its next-generation Ranger will be a global sales hit.

Destined for success: Ford is confident that its next-generation Ranger will be a global sales hit.

Global Ford chief labels all-new Australian-developed Ranger ute as ‘incredible’

FORD Motor Company president and CEO Alan Mulally has described as “incredible” the company’s next-generation Ranger ute, which was developed by Ford Australia.

Ranger will make its global debut at the Sydney motor show on October 15 before going on sale in about 130 nations worldwide next year.

“It’s an incredible vehicle and I can’t wait to get your reaction when you see it Down Under,” said Mr Mulally at the Paris motor show last Thursday.

“We just reviewed it the other day and we’re going to launch it at the Australian auto show.”

Ford2011 Ranger center imageFrom top: Ford president and CEO Alan Mulally, Ford Everest, Ford Ranger T6 in testing, artist's impression of Ford Ranger T6-based SUV.

The Australian-designed and engineered ‘T6’ platform that underpins the next-generation Ranger also forms the basis of Mazda’s all-new BT-50 ute, which will make its world debut alongside the new Ranger in Sydney.

Both T6-based vehicles will go into production in Thailand in mid-2011.

“It’s an exciting development for Ford Australia because they took the lead on the design,” said Ford’s global chief, who has had intimate knowledge of the new ute following first-hand experience of its development in Australia from an early stage.

“I’ve been to Australia a lot… and on one of the first trips there I got a chance to participate in one of the early design reviews of the Ranger, and it’s a fantastic vehicle,” he said.

The next Ranger and BT-50 – which will again be produced in a number of variants including single-cab, dual-cab, petrol and diesel models – will provide Ford and Mazda with a larger, more modern rival to compete directly with popular one-tonners like Toyota’s top-selling HiLux, the Mitsubishi Triton, Nissan Navara and the upcoming Volkswagen Amarok, which will make its local debut in Sydney in both four-door and two-door guises before going on sale in Australia early next year.

Ford has revealed it is also developing a wagon derivative based on the T6 platform in Australia.

This ‘Ranger wagon’ will be destined for global markets and, as GoAuto has exclusively reported, is already the subject of local benchmark testing with rival vehicles like the Nissan Pathfinder, Mitsubishi Challenger, Toyota Fortuna and the Thai-only Ford Everest, which it will effectively replace.

However, Mr Mulally would not be drawn on future bodystyle derivatives of the full-chassis T6 platform.

“On all of our vehicles, the fact that they are standardised on each platform, as with the T6, gives us the chance to work all the different top hats, so we can absolutely do what the market really wants now and we can do it a lot easier and less expensively because of our global platform strategy,” he said.

Mr Mulally said the next Ranger would slot neatly below Ford’s F-Series pick-up, which has been North America’s (and the world’s) best-selling vehicle for more than three decades and at one time regularly attracted more than one million buyers a year.

“The F-Series is our offering in the US, but for the rest of the world we really believe that a compact pick-up that’s a little bit smaller like the Ranger is going to be fantastic.

“That (Ranger) is our smaller pick-up global platform. We used to have a range of vehicles, but now we have the Ranger that can go to all of those markets around the world.

“And remember, the F-150 is the standard. Around the world it has been the number one selling vehicle for 34 years. Now we have a smaller truck in the Ranger that will go around to all of the markets around the world – all of the markets.”

Asked if the new Ranger could outsell the F-150, Mr Mulally said: “Now, wouldn’t that be an exciting development.”

Ford 2011 Ranger Destined for success: Ford is confident that its next-generation Ranger will be a global sales hit.

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