Ford will push accessories and options with new Ranger


Ford Motor Co. will partner with Yakima Products Inc. to offer parts and accessories for its new Ford Ranger pickup truck.

Yakima makes car racks, roof racks, bike racks, hitch racks and other outdoor adventure add-ons. Ranger customers will be able to select from a range of Yakima accessories — kayak racks, bike racks and truck-bed storage products, to name a few. (You can have a look in the attached slideshow.)

Buyers can choose to add the cost to their vehicle financing, Ford said in a news release. Yakima accessories purchased through a Ford dealership come with a three-year or 36,000-mile Ford warranty.

“With the addition of Yakima accessories, Ford aims to enhance the experiences of adventure-driven customers by delivering innovative solutions such as truck bed racks that preserve cargo space by lifting kayaks, bikes and skis off the floor of the bed," Eric Cin, global director, vehicle personalization, said in the release.

"It’s about making each adventure better,” Cin said.

Industry projections indicate consumers will spend $45 billion on vehicle personalization parts in 2018, according to the Special Equipment Marketing Association's 2018 market report. Aftermarket suppliers account for more than 50 percent of personalization accessory purchases. Ford says increasing the accessibility of those aftermarket suppliers could boost dealers' business while improving convenience for customers.

Ford is bringing the Ranger back after years of being off the market, starting in early 2019. It's already in production at the Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, Mich.

For the year, Ford truck sales are up 2.4 percent, to 942,945 vehicles sold through October. Truck sales were lower in October 2018 than a year earlier, but the 2.4 percent year-to-date growth rate for trucks is faster than that of SUVs (up 1.6 percent) and cars (down 17.4 percent.)

Ford makes trucks and SUVs at two assembly plants in Louisville. The company is one of Louisville's largest employers, with about 12,600 workers locally.