Despite a difficult 2020 across many industries, there were some bright spots—particularly for auto brands who not only weathered the scourge of the pandemic but realized surprising sales.
Surely that was the case for Ford Philippines. Despite a 30-percent decline in unit sales, its performance was still better than the average 40-percent slowdown in the sector. The company credits this to its popular Ranger pickup line.
Ford Philippines Managing Director PK Umashankar narrated during an online press conference last week that even as it moved fewer units last year, the Blue Oval brand’s Ranger nameplate alone accounted for the company’s 9,767 units sold—66% of 14,775 total vehicles sales.
Last year wasn’t half bad indeed for Ford as it took the 4×4 throne (getting 41 percent of segment sales), and reached a milestone of 10,000 units sold for its popular Ranger Raptor which it introduced here in September 2018. In fact, two of every three Ranger Raptors sold in the ASEAN region went to Filipinos. It also buttressed its pickup lineup with the return of the F-150 last June.
The momentum seems to have been carried over this year. Last January, some 800 vehicles out of Ford’s 1,720-unit take-up were comprised of Rangers.
Cognizant of the popularity of its 13-trim pickup model, Ford is doubling down by refreshing the Ranger lineup. New design and exterior enhancements have been made across the XLS, XLT, and Wildtrak variants to offer customers “a new look more attuned to today’s needs and lifestyles.”
“Our new Ford Ranger lineup will allow us to continue building on our leadership in the pickup segment in the country… The new Ranger is set to deliver on its promise of functionality and capability while enabling the diverse needs and lifestyles of our customers,” said Umashankar in a release.
Changes in the Wildtrak include a trapezoidal grille with a Saber accent, plus gloss-black wheels and accents of the same hue on the grille, lower bumper, rear bumper, fog lamp bezel, exterior mirrors, fender grille, sports bar with Saber insert, roof rail, and tailgate handle. Wildtrak decals on the side door and tailgate (the latter in 3D style) have also been added. Exclusive to the 4×4 variant as an option to be made available in the second quarter is a power roller shutter, “a load compartment accessory which is an original equipment from Ford.” The fully automatic feature is controlled by three power buttons located in the dashboard. The trim also features a remote key and pickup bed for easy access, and comes with a power tailgate lock.
XLT changes include a new front grille with chrome accents and exterior gloss-black accents on the grille, exterior mirrors, door handles, and fog lamp bezel. Finally, the XLS trims receive a new front grille.
Aside from the vehicle enhancements, Ford is undertaking a focused marketing push to connect more deeply with a car-buying public, who may not even consider owning a pickup. It’s all about bringing “the Ranger’s values and persona to life.” The campaign, called “Live the Ranger Life,” aims to “highlight and celebrate the many ways that the renowned strength and engineering capabilities of the Ranger reflects and support its customers’ personal goals and drive in life, centered around five guiding values: “Up and Over,” (tackling challenges); “Can’t Help But Help,” (assistance to others); “Where There Isn’t a Path, Carve One,” (fearless leadership), “Bring Others Along the Journey,” (family and friends); and “We Make Our Own Fun,” (fun in driving).
In an interview, Ford Philippines AVP for communications Edward Joseph Francisco said, “’Live the Ranger Life’ is a new brand expression to position the Ranger as more than just a pickup but an enabler of our customers’ needs and lifestyles. The Ranger has proven a lot already. Now, we intend to connect with our customers in a deeper, more emotional level.”
The company has also released the 2021 pricing of the Ranger lineup. Only the XLT MT and Wildtrak 4×4 get a price hike compared to last year’s figures.
For more information, visit www.ford.com.ph/trucks/ranger or a Ford dealership.