A Ford executive says the next-generation Ranger bakkie will “raise the bar” in what has become a “really competitive segment”.

Andrew Birkic, Ford Australia president and CEO, told to CarsGuide.com.au the “team is very focused on delivering the next Ranger and the next Everest, adding that “the competition is raising the bar”.

Toyota recently refreshed its Hilux, while all-new Isuzu D-Max and Mazda BT-50 twins have launched in some markets, too.

“It’s a really competitive segment, so we know we can’t be complacent. We have to keep investing, we have to keep pushing ourselves,” he said.

Before stepping into his latest role, Birkic was Ford’s global chief product marketer for the Ranger and Everest.

“We believe we’re a pioneer in this space, if you go back to when we launched the new Ranger a few years ago, and it’s our job to continually raise that bar.

“And obviously being part of that programme, I’m confident that we’ve got a really strong story coming,” he added.

The new Ranger is expected to hit the market in 2022, again built at Ford’s assembly plant in Silverton, South Africa (although this time alongside the next-gen Volkswagen Amarok).

In May 2020, a report out of Australia suggested the next-generation Ranger would be offered with a choice of three engines, including a V6 turbodiesel and a petrol-hybrid powertrain.