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Ford mulls expanded Ranger accessories range
Lucrative aftermarket makes Ford look at additional accessories for Ranger pick-up
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11 Oct 2018
FORD Australia is considering expanding its range of genuine accessories, to better compete with an extensive aftermarket that offers Ranger customers a wide range of modification and personalisation options for their utes.
Speaking to GoAuto at the launch of the updated Ranger, Ford Australia LCV product and retail marketing manager Peter Zikas said the company was considering new ways to offer customers a wider range of accessories.
“The genuine accessories catalogue is pretty comprehensive. It has been for a while,” he said.
“I know the guys have been pedalling pretty fast to look at what else we can do in terms of expanding it even further.
“There’s no doubt that this area is a massive growth area – probably the most customised segment of the lot – so we’re trying to balance that scenario between bringing a product to market and also having a suite of accessories and customisation that everyone wants.”
The current range of Ranger accessories includes roof racks, canopies, tonneau covers, awnings, a snorkel (for the 3.2-litre engine only), sliding drawers, nudge bars and a steel bullbar, among others.
However, there are a number of other potential accessories thar Ford has been considering for the Ranger, with compliance being the main issue in getting them to market.
“We certainly see a lot of stuff out there in regards to, be it lift kits or wheels with greater offsets for example, but they’re certainly things that from a corporate perspective – there’s a compliance issue in terms of diameters and offsets if you think of wheels,” Mr Zikas said.
“So there are guidelines we operate in, and ultimately whether that constrains us to some degree, or ultimately it’s just a matter of us focusing on the things that we know we can do well,and leave some of the other stuff to a pretty expansive aftermarket that’s out there, particularly in Australia.”
Mr Zikas added that other accessories under consideration are a wider range of alloy wheels, while an alloy bullbar is currently being engineered for compliance with autonomous emergency braking (a new feature on the Ranger) and active cruise control, to sit alongside the black steel version.
There is also the possibility for Ford to offer parts from the Ranger Raptor for the regular line-up, such as underbody protection and 33-inch BF Goodrich KO2 all-terrain rubber.
Mr Zikas said the current take-up for Ranger accessories was around 10 to 15 per cent for minor items such as bonnet protectors and floor mats, while more heavy-duty items such as bullbars and snorkels saw a take-up of around three to six per cent.
He also said that he estimated around 15 to 20 per cent of Rangers – particularly the high-end XLT and Wildtrak variants – end up with some form of modification after purchase, either from the dealer or aftermarket, indicating the potential for a higher take-up of factory-backed accessories.
When asked whether there was an opportunity to for Ford to take accessory sales from the aftermarket to dealer fitment, Mr Zikas said: “I think there’s always an opportunity when you play in a segment where customisation is quite high, there’s always an opportunity, and these are things we continue to evaluate as we move forward.”
He added that Ford dealers were happy with the current line-up of ranger accessories and there was no current demands from dealers to increase the scope of accessories available on the Ranger.
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