The Ford Ranger 4X4 crewcab pick-up truck continues to be the most popular vehicle in its segment in Malaysia, with more than 2,300 units sold since its launch in September last year.

"The response towards the Ranger has been simply fantastic," said Steven Tan, marketing manager of AMIM Holdings Sdn Bhd, the local assembler and distributor of Ford vehicles.

"The Ford Ranger crewcab is going from strength to strength, establishing itself as the undisputed leader of the Malaysian 4X4 crewcab pick-up truck market," he added.

Tan attributed the success of the Ford Ranger in Malaysia to several factors, mainly the vehicle's flexibility. "There is a growing demand for vehicles that can be used both for work and recreation, and the Ranger fits the bill. With the passenger car-like features, the Ranger is very easy and safe to drive, and its 4X4 capability takes you anywhere," he said.

The Ranger, available in six different paint colors (Winter White, Salsa Red, Pacific Blue, Kingfisher Blue, Moonlight Grey and Sunset Red), is configured to cater to different market segments.

It has a 2.5 litre Euro-1 Turbo Inter-Cooled Diesel engine and performs more like a cross between a tough pickup and sports utility vehicle.

Tan added that the Ranger enjoy a 50 per cent reduction in road tax as its diesel engine complies with the Euro-1 emission level. "This is an important tax-break for our customers who demand not only a tough truck but one that minimises cost of consumption."

In the UK, the Ford Ranger has received a number of accolades from the commercial vehicle industry and was voted the top product in the vehicle and plant category by readers of Professional Builder magazine.

The Ranger, which is available across 70 countries, carries with it Ford's reputation of over 80 years of experience in building tough and reliable trucks. In 1999 alone, 360,000 vehicles carried the Ford Ranger nameplate globally.

AMIM Holdings is a joint venture between Ford Motor Company and Tractors Malaysia Bhd, a subsidiary of Sime Darby Berhad. Its product range includes the Ford Focus, Lynx, Telstar, Econovan, Trader and Transit.