Although Ford pick-up trucks are sold all over the planet, they are not seen in China as the company’s range does not include such products. This will soon change as the carmaker has announced that it will manufacture and sell the Ranger in the world’s largest vehicle market.

The announcement was made at Auto Shanghai 2023 and the model to be introduced will be the latest generation which made its debut in November 2021 (Malaysia in July 2022). The Ranger is exported from two production hubs – in Thailand and in South Africa – to some 180 markets.


30 years ago, many people came to know about a dinosaur that was called a raptor (full name: velociraptor). It was one of the dinosaurs in The Jurassic Park movie and it was very ferocious and very nasty.

Fast forward to today and people still talk about a raptor – except that they usually do not refer to the dinosaur but an equally ferocious Ford truck. Ford was quick to use the name, capitalising on its image known by the older generation and at the same time building an image of high performance and ruggedness for younger buyers.


As the auto industry transitions towards electric vehicles (EVs), there is increasing use of common platforms which have been developed and engineered specifically to integrate electric motors, related systems and battery packs. These are flexible platforms which can be used for different  vehicle types by varying the platform dimensions.

However, most of such platforms are suited for passenger vehicles which have limited payload demands. They may not necessarily be suitable for pick-up trucks which have greater load-carrying requirements, hence the continued use of the chassis frame instead of a monocoque structure.

Magna International, the Canadian automotive systems and parts manufacturer, has come up with new technology which provides a simple way to electrify a pick-up truck without losing truck capabilities. Known as eBeam technology, it is the first significant change to solid beam rear axle in trucks in more than 100 years.


While pick-up trucks are popular in many markets, they have never appealed to consumers in the European markets. Their size has been one reason, given the narrow roads and tight parking spaces in many cities. For farm use, tractors would be preferred and if it comes to carrying goods, they have small vans that are more practical.

For this reason, Peugeot has never really given much attention to making pick-up trucks although it did produce one as far back as 1938. There were also a few other models over the years and one based on the 504 was quite popular – in Africa. In fact, to satisfy demand by its overseas distributors (mainly in Africa), it has provided ‘badge-engineered’ pick-up trucks, one of them being based on a model made by Dongfeng.

More recently, the French carmaker co-developed a truck with Changan, another Chinese manufacturer. Changan calls its version the Kaicene F70 while Peugeot calls it the Landtrek, and it is sold in some markets in South America and Africa. It is also now available in Malaysia, which is the first market in the Asia-Pacific region to well the Landtrek.


A collision between a pick-up truck and a passenger car in Mersing recently resulted in serious injuries to a 1-year old infant and 6-year old child. Their parents, who were in the car, also had bone injuries. Witnesses who saw the accident take place were angered by the recklessness of the truck driver and also the fact that he sped off after the accident.

According to reports in various media, the pick-up truck (a Nissan Navara) had rammed into the Toyota Vios at Km57 Jalan Batu Pahat in Mersing, Johor. The impact caused the car to skid and crash into a tree. Both children suffered brain haemorrhage, with the younger one also having an injury to her hip bone while the older one had a swollen jaw bone.


With the popularity of the Ford Ranger Raptor showing that there are people who want a truck that’s not only built tough but also includes high performance in its list of capabilities, the folks at Toyota Australia decided they too would also come out with a high-performance version of the Hilux. Although Toyota doesn’t make vehicles in Australia any longer, it has an engineering facility which does a lot of development work on Toyota’s 4×4 models so it was the best place for such a project.

The high-performance Hilux is designated the GR Sport, associating it with Toyota’s GR range of performance models. The hardcore off-roader is the most powerful diesel Hilux ever offered by Toyota with power and torque from the 2.8-litre engine boosted by 10% to 165 kW/224 ps and 550 Nm. The boost in output has been achieved through revised turbo-supercharging and fuel-injection control.


Like other types of motor vehicles, trucks too are electrifying. Some companies like Ford and GM have already begun selling fully electric trucks and eventually, the bestselling truck outside North America will also go electric. This is the Toyota Hilux, a popular model in many countries for decades, which has built up a strong reputation for durability and reliability.

Toyota already has a development program ongoing for an electric Hilux as evident by a prototype shown in Thailand recently. On the occasion of the 60th anniversary of Toyota Thailand, Toyota President Akio Toyoda personally presented the Hilux Revo BEV to give a preview of a future Hilux with electric power.


Remember the news about a new Ford Ranger Raptor being entered in the SCORE-International Baja 1000? Run in California, it’s one of the world’s toughest off-road races and just making it to the end in one piece is an achievement.

The Ranger Raptor – prepared in Australia for desert racing but still quite standard and even road-legal, finished its class in first place. And it was still in such good condition that the team decided to drive it back to its home base. In 2017, a stock F-150 Raptor also did the same thing.


Even as the Ford+ Plan has the carmaker putting in bigger investments in electric vehicles, attention has not diminished for vehicles with combustion engines. Particularly with pick-up trucks, which Ford is a leader in, there is continued development with sustainable clean energy solutions being explored.

At the SCORE International Baja 1000 – one of the toughest off-road races in the world – Ford Performance will enter a new Ranger Raptor running on a low-carbon biofuel, demonstrating the potential of these fuels in the most demanding environments.


Before pick-up trucks were allowed for private registration, they were used only for business purposes, usually on construction sites of logging camps. Their main use was transporting things, so seating was needed just for the driver and an assistant. This made the single cab bodystyle more common than the double cab.

As private use of trucks grew and people took their families in them, the double cab became the more common version. The single cab was still around but of interest mainly to businessmen. As demand was low, some companies decided to stop offering the variants (in Malaysia).

However, Sime Darby Auto ConneXion (SDAC) has always included a single cab variant in its Ford Ranger range and with the new generation, this is also the case. While the Ranger Single Cab was not announced earlier, it is now added to the range in the form of the XL 4×4 Single Cab Manual variant.



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