A Ford executive says the next-generation Ranger bakkie will have “an advantage” over the new Amarok that's set to be built alongside it.
The second-generation Amarok is set be produced alongside the next Ranger at Ford’s assembly plant in Silverton, South Africa, from 2022. Signed agreements between the two firms include the production of “a medium pickup truck engineered and built by Ford, for sale by Volkswagen as the Amarok starting in 2022”.
Andrew Birkic, Ford Australia’s new president, told motoring.com.au the Blue Oval brand had a useful “head start” over its Wolfsburg-based partner.
“We have a luxury, we have an advantage, we have a head start over them [Volkswagen],” Birkic said.
“We have a really strong history and we have a really strong global play with Ranger. So I think for us it is how do we keep improving and raising the bar, whereas for them I think it’s a different play.”
Birkic stepped into this latest role after serving as the global chief product marketer for the Ranger.
“I think Amarok has a different positioning and I have no idea how they will position it. They will bring a different dynamic,” Birkic said.
“I know what the core DNA of Ranger is and I know who the customer is and I know what motivates them. I think I know what they are looking for and our role at Ford is to be authentic to that Ranger customer.”
In June 2020, Thomas Sedran, then-chairman of the board of management of Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, promised the next-gen Ranger and Amarok would be “clearly” differentiated.
“What is important for both partners is the utilisation of the same platform. At the same time we will both be able to fully deploy our strengths. Through custom designs and interfaces we will clearly differentiate the two models,” Sedran said.