I typically travel for months each year all over Australia. Having a choice of about eight different new utes to buy is great but because of the remote places I go, reliability is vital.
The Ford Ranger and Mazda BT-50 have a lot going for them but I’m hearing rumors that these have recently been changed to a Chinese copy of the German ZF auto, and the Chinese one is just starting to experience problems.
Car companies don’t tell you about this so you are induced to buy on what appears to be a proven track record, which is totally misleading. Do you know if there have been changes in this auto gearbox? - Chris
2016 FORD RANGER GALLERY
4x4 Ute Sales in Australia (YTD Oct. 2015)
Chris, I contacted a senior Ford executive with your question, and they got back to me in record time. The Chinese knock-off rumour-mongers are apparently bullshitting you. Ford does use some ZF gearboxes - but mostly in passenger cars and some SUVs. Not Ranger. I think ZF does actually have a gearbox factory in China - so they’re not copies, they’re ZF gearboxes made in China. Big difference.
According to Ford, Ranger’s 6R80 auto transmission is made by Ford and manufactured in one of Ford’s factories in North America. And the Ranger manual gearbox is manufactured in China under a joint-venture agreement with Getrag. So this might be the kernel of truth from which this oak tree of bullshit actually germinated. Chinese whispers, literally.
I’m not a huge fan of Ford, but it’s absurd to think a company like Ford would infringe about a million intellectual property rights and trademarks, and source a Chinese knock-off of a big name gearbox. That’s nuts. Only Volkswagen would do something like that. Or Audi. Or Skoda. Or Porsche. So I think you’re in the clear on the Ranger/BT-50 transmission front.
Visit my dedicated ute advice page >>