New Ford boss defends choice to offer camera standard only on Ranger Wildtrack

Australia has defended its decision to offer a reversing camera as an option only on all variants of its just-launched PX MkII Ranger pick-up range, except the flagship Wildtrack.

The heavily-facelifted model – touted as a technology leader by the Blue Oval – has been made available with an active safety features options list that includes a Tech Pack, which adds a reversing camera to the XLT and Adaptive Cruise Control with Forward Collision Alert, Lane Departure Warning, Lane Keep Assist and Driver Impairment Monitor to the Wildtrak for $600 and $1100 respectively.

Both the XL and XLS Ranger variants can be fitted with a reversing camera that streams via the rear-view mirror as a dealer accessory for $634, while the XLT gains the camera display in the electrochromatic mirror for $794. A camera display through the touchscreen is standard on range-topping Wildrack.

Ford Australia president and CEO Graeme Whickman defended the decision to put cameras on the options list, rather than as standard as per the $57,890 plus on-road costs Wildtrak flagship.

“Like anything in life you kinda get what you deserve. If people are willing to put their money down for the product, that’s the value relationship that exists,” he said at the Ranger media launch in Victoria this week.

“That’s the belief we have, if you look at the Ranger that value exchange has existed and continued. I don’t want to get into a fight about it but that’s where we pitched it and I expect consumers will see value in it, and put their money down.”

Mr Whickman described the Ranger as a “credible offering” and believes it dwells in the top of two tiers of light-commercial utes and the decisions come down to giving the consumer a choice.

“As a company you have a set of decisions to make about how much to specify in the vehicle and how much you leave to the choice of the consumers,” he said.

“I don’t compare myself to the models that are 10-15 thousand dollars cheaper. I refuse to acknowledge the comparison frankly.

“I wouldn’t be calling them cheap and cheerful, but there appears to be two categories of utes at the moment, you’d argue Ford and Toyota. I’m not so sure Amarok is there or not but they’re a quality brand.

“Then the Mitsubishi of the world and Nissan, who knows where it will end up but I’m feeling confident that what we’ve got to offer is a pretty good product offering and we’ll live or die by that offering,” he said.

Other variants in the Ranger line-up can be fitted with a reversing camera that streams via the rear-view mirror as a dealer accessory.

With its primary opposition Toyota launching the HiLux in October, it presents an opportunity for the market sales leader to take the next step with range-wide standard reversing cameras.

Pre-launch information on the HiLux reveals that a reversing camera streamed via a touchscreen will be standard on all variants, except the cab-chassis ute, where it will be available as an accessory camera.

Mitsubishi has fitted a reversing camera as standard on its Triton GLS (priced from $40,990) and its $47,490 Exceed 4×4 dual-cab utes.

Nissan’s new NP300 Navara gets a reversing camera as standard from its mid-spec 4×2 ST dual-cab model, which is priced from $38,990, through to the range-topping 4×4 ST-X.

Holden only fits a camera as standard to the top-spec Colorado LTZ, which is priced from $41,640 and Volkswagen’s Amarok has a reversing camera standard in its Highline (from $55,490) and the Ultimate flagship, which is priced from $65,290. It is an option on the Trendline.

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