The mighty Toyota Hilux, venerated as the ultimate unkillable work truck the world over, has been passed as the best selling 4x4 in South Africa for the first time in 34 years. The 2015 Ford Ranger, about to be redesigned to match the new Ford Everest, has taken the region's top spot.

Ranger beat Hilux in South African sales last month by 157 units, with 3,054 to Toyota's 2,897 in the "light commercial" class according to the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (NAAMSA). Their data says the Toyota has been number one since 1980. The Isuzu KB came up at distant third third, with the the Nissan NP300 Hardbody and Volkswagen Amarok behind it. For a little context, Ford sold almost 60,000 F-Series pickups in the US over the same period of time.

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Both the African-market Toyota Hilux and Ford Ranger come in a range of configurations, though the Ford's is far greater: the cheapest African Ranger starts at about $14,000 while the even a base new Hilux is almost twice that. With that in mind, I'm even more impressed with the Hilux having held it off in the market for as long as it had.

The Ford and Toyota both can be optioned up to around $45,000 and have off-road variants with impressive approach angles around 30º. Sadly, they're both still unattainable to buyers here in the US but it's interesting to watch what happens with truck sales in an off-road oriented market like South Africa.

Image via Mike Levine/Ford Communications