Ranger becomes fastest-selling pickup in the U.K. market; earns "Best Pickup of 1999" award
BANGKOK, Thailand, 30, September, 1999 - Ford Motor Company's all-new Ranger pickup truck - which is built at AutoAlliance Thailand Co., Ltd., Ford's joint venture vehicle assembly plant located in Rayong province - has been the fastest-selling pickup in the United Kingdom since it went on sale earlier this year.
In addition to its strong sales start in the U.K., the Thai-built Ranger has been named "Best Pickup of 1999" by What Van? Magazine, one of the leading publications for light trucks in the U.K. The U.K. award follows up two other awards earned by the Ranger earlier this year: In July, the Ranger was voted "Best Pick of the Year" and "Best Performance 4x4 Vehicle" in Thailand by a panel of automotive experts from the media and local universities.
"Ranger pickups built in Thailand are some of the best trucks in the world," said Mike Pease, executive director of Ford Sales (Thailand). "U.K. pickup buyers must agree, because they've made the Ranger the fastest-selling pickup in the U.K."
Since it's introduction to the U.K. market in June of this year, the Ranger has been the best-selling pickup in each of the first four months it has been on sale, accounting for 25 percent of all segment sales. Total Ranger sales in those four months have reached 872 units, or nearly 10 percent of total pickup segment sales for the year.
Ford expects to sell a total of 1,480 Rangers in the U.K. in 1999, which would push its market share above 11.5 percent. Ranger sales in the U.K. are expected to increase next year, as Ford dealers will have an entire 12 months to sell the vehicle.
"We're thrilled with the performance of the Ranger," said Mike Platts, Ford UK's manager of commercial vehicles. "In an incredibly competitive market, it is great to see the Ford Ranger at the top of the monthly sales chart."
Ford Ranger is now exported to more than 100 countries around the world, with further expansion planned in 1999 and 2000. The AAT plant is now the second largest vehicle exporter in Thailand - only 12 months after start of production.
The Ford Ranger is the first safety pickup truck in Thailand, and it is also the most powerful pickup made in Thailand, with its turbocharged 2.5-litre 12-valve engine producing 116 horsepower.
"We are very pleased to see the sales success in the U.K. match our sales success in Thailand. It is clearly going to be a race in the future," said Mr. Mike Pease.