The next generation Ford Ranger, expected in 2022, will share a platform with the next Volkswagen Amarok. Ford has been building pickups for an eternity, and they’ve gotten pretty good at it. Just take the F-150, America’s best selling vehicle for the past 43 years. Because of this, it’s reasonable to think that Ford is taking a gamble sharing such an important with another automaker. But luckily, Ford has a secret weapon to ensure the Ranger will still be ahead of the Amarok, despite sharing so much.
And that secret weapon is actually a person: Andrew Birkic. He’s just been promoted to Ford’s Australia and New Zealand boss after being global lead project manager for the current Ford Ranger, and it’s Everest SUV sibling that isn’t sold in America. The Ford Ranger we know was actually designed in Australia, and has been on sale there since 2011. Much of the next Ranger is also being developed down under, so having Birkic at the helm will give some focus on this important product. In a recent interview with the Australian outlet CarSales, Birkic outlined how the Ranger will have an edge over the Amarok.
The primary reason is Ford has spent more time with the new T7 architecture that the 2022 Ranger will ride on. Birkic worked on the T7, and Ford already had some of the Ranger’s development underway when VW jumped on board. Birkic said this head start, along with Ford’s pickup expertise, will give an advantage from the get-go. The Ranger is also a core vehicle for Ford, especially in Australia. Not so for VW, as their truck won’t be sold as globally as Ford or in anywhere near as many numbers.
Birkic also said the Amarok will have different positioning than the next-gen 2022 Ford Ranger, although he’s unsure of what that will be. The Ranger, on the other hand, will have the same core positioning it has today, just with every possible aspect improved over the outgoing model.