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Ford finds success with Ranger Raptor pre-orders
Impressive pre-order performance paves way for Ford Ranger Raptor sales success
27 Jul 2018
FORD says the Ranger Raptor performance ute could be “a bit of sleeper” on the sales charts when it enters Australian showrooms in October, given its impressive pre-order performance.
The Ranger Raptor will launch in Asia Pacific markets, including Australia, where initial demand appears to be stronger than expected. This has resulted in the Blue Oval talking to parts suppliers about increasing orders for its Thailand-based production facility.
As previously reported by GoAuto, Ford Australia currently holds about 1000 pre-orders for the Ranger Raptor, and it hopes to deliver all of them to their owners by Christmas.
As such, customers that place orders today are likely to wait until January 2019 for delivery. The Ranger Raptor is priced from $74,990 before on-road costs – an $11,000 premium over the Wildtrak upon which it is based.
Speaking to GoAuto this week at the Ranger Raptor international media launch in the Northern Territory, Ford Asia Pacific vice-president of product development Trevor Worthington was cautiously optimistic that the Ranger Raptor will eventually be considered a sales success.
“We don’t talk about how many we think we’ll sell, because it doesn’t matter what number I say, it’ll be wrong,” he said.
“Historically, we’ve under-called the utility of vehicles like this in our sales. When we did (Ranger) Wildtrak, we had a thought about what we’re going to sell, and we ended up selling three or four times as many as we thought.
“I have a feeling (Ranger Raptor) will be a bit of a sleeper, as well. Especially when people see the overall balance of its capability, it’s not just going to appeal to the extreme people that are looking for this kind of utility.
“You drive this vehicle down the road, it points and steers really well. It’s a really comfortable vehicle to drive on long trips. It tows 2500kg, can carry a good load in the back. It can comfortably carry a family of five.
“Then on those extreme occasions, if you want to, (you can) go and have fun. It’s a really multi-faceted vehicle, and it will be really interesting to see how it goes.”
When questioned what the sales split is for the F-150 Raptor among the F-Series full-size pick-ups sold in the US market, as a comparison for the Ranger Raptor, Mr Worthington indicated it should be about 3.75 per cent this year.
“You’ve got to look at it as a percentage,” he said. “The first year, I think, we sold 6000 (F-150) Raptors, and, I think, we’re now doing about 30,000 (units) a year. This year we’ll sell 800,000 F-Series (vehicles), so … do the math.
“We did 22,000 (Rangers) in the first half of the year, so if we do 44,000, 45,000 (sales by the end of 2018), it’ll be interesting (to see the sales impact of Ranger Raptor).”
Specifically, sales of the Ranger 4x2 and 4x4 have improved steadily this year, with 22,106 units sold to the end of June – a 2.1 per cent increase over the 21,644 deliveries made during the same period in 2017.
If Ford Australia can match the F-150 Raptor’s US sales split with the Ranger Raptor, it would sell about 1700 examples in a full calendar year based on this year’s pace.
Mr Worthington stressed that the market is ready for a vehicle like the Ranger Raptor, which he described as a purpose-built offering that holds great appeal.
“I think there’s a pent-up demand for people who are looking for genuine, expressive versions of double-cab utes,” he said.
“Not just ones that have got a bit of cladding on the side and a sticker, but ones that are really built for purpose, and (the Ranger Raptor) is built for a purpose.
“Whether it’s the traditional winning the argument at the pub (or) at the barbecue, feeling really good about driving a vehicle that’s got credibility, that’s got real integrity about it, I think it’s really going to appeal to a lot of customers in that sense.
“At the end of the day, you get into something and drive it, you either enjoy it or you don’t.”
Mr Worthington suggested that Ford still has options for customers that do not identify with the type of performance that the Ranger Raptor offers.
“We’ve got Mustang for sporty on-road customers, and we’ve got (Ranger Raptor) for sporty off-road customers,” he said.
“It is really about – in the post-Falcon, post-Territory era – reconnecting with new customers that are looking for those kind of different things, so we think (Ranger Raptor) will be a big part of that for us.”
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