Ford Doesn't Need the Ranger Anymore

Last week, my colleague Daniel Miller argued that Ford's (NYSE: F  ) decision to discontinue the Ranger pickup in North America was a mistake. Ford recently introduced a new version of the Ranger in most international markets, but it won't be sold in the United States. Daniel argues that Ford is unwisely giving up the small pickup market to its two top rivals: Toyota Motor (NYSE: TM  ) and General Motors (NYSE: GM  ) . Toyota offers the Tacoma in the midsize truck segment, and GM is planning to reintroduce the Chevy Colorado midsize truck (and its close cousin, the GMC Canyon) next year.

Yet Ford's management probably made the right decision by ending Ranger sales in North America. The truck certainly has its fans, since it gets better gas mileage and is easier to maneuver in the city compared with its larger sibling, the Ford F-150. However, demand for small trucks is fading fast in the United States. Ford has taken the calculated risk of killing the Ranger in the U.S., with the goal of moving former Ranger owners up to the F-150 (or over to cars/crossovers). Furthermore, Ford's Atlas concept for the next-generation F-150 promises to dramatically boost fuel efficiency. If it meets expectations, it will give customers the best of both worlds in one powerful but fuel-efficient truck.

Killing the Ranger
While the Ford Ranger was sold in the U.S. for three decades, Ford decided to discontinue it a few years ago. The 2011 model year represented the last full production run; the 2012 Ranger was only available for fleet buyers. Ford's market research showed that many Ranger buyers were looking for a cheap vehicle but didn't need a pickup specifically. With a stronger lineup of small cars, Ford thinks it can keep those buyers. Among customers looking specifically for a pickup, Ford believes it can sell the F-150 to most of those buyers. This is especially true because the new Ranger sold in international markets is larger than previous models, at 90% of the F-150's size.

All-New Ford Ranger

The New Ford Ranger, courtesy of Ford.

While it's unfortunate for Ranger fans that the model is no longer available in the U.S., there are big benefits for Ford from slimming down its product lineup. The F-150 is the top-selling vehicle in America, which gives Ford huge economies of scale in its production. By contrast, the small truck segment is small and shrinking. Furthermore, the F-150 commands much higher prices than the Ranger ever did. Industry analysts have estimated that large pickups command an average profit of $12,000 per vehicle. Even if would-be Ranger buyers purchase less expensive F-150s, Ford only needs to persuade a small proportion of them to upgrade to the F-150 to fully offset lost profits from the Ranger.

Good decision?
The Ranger ended production in December 2011, and so far market dynamics imply that Ford made the right call. In 2012, Ford sold 19,366 Rangers in the U.S., down from 70,832 Rangers sold in 2011 (the model's last full year on the market). The segment-leading Toyota Tacoma grew from 110,705 units in 2011 to 141,365 units in 2012: a gain of just over 30,000. Meanwhile, GM's Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon trucks saw combined sales increase from 40,616 in 2011 to 45,575 in 2012. GM's sales could have been somewhat higher, but dealers began to run short of inventory in the fall, since the 2013 models aren't available in the United States. Nissan's sales of the Frontier small truck were also unimpressive in 2012, growing just 7% to 55,435 units.

The bottom line is that while the overall pickup market showed a solid increase in 2012, small pickup sales gains at Toyota, GM, and Nissan totaled only 40,000, even though Ford Ranger sales declined by more than 50,000. By contrast, U.S. sales of F-Series trucks grew by around 60,000 units last year, from 585,000 to 645,000. 2013 is off to an even better start, as F-Series sales have grown more than 17% year to date.

There is no way to know for sure what buyers would have done if the Ford Ranger had been on the market. However, the evidence suggests that Ford's strategy is working. The full-size pickup segment is rebounding nicely, while compact pickup sales are still on the decline. Some would-be Ranger buyers undoubtedly bought the Toyota Tacoma instead. However, F-Series sales growth of 60,000 units in 2012 was approximately double the growth of Tacoma sales. It seems quite likely that the step-up of some would-be Ranger buyers to the F-150 is partially responsible for the strong growth of F-Series sales recently.

Foolish conclusion
Managing a massive global company like Ford entails making tough decisions. Discontinuing the Ranger for the U.S. market was one of those tough decisions. However, so far it looks like the right move. The American pickup market is moving strongly toward the full-size segment, which offers automakers much higher volumes and profits. With gas prices trending lower, buyers have one less reason to trade down from a full-size pickup to a compact or mid-size truck. Lastly, if Ford's Atlas concept dramatically improves F-Series fuel economy, it will push small trucks into an even smaller niche. Alan Mulally and his team at Ford have made a lot of good moves in the last few years, and there's no reason to believe they slipped up now.

Worried about Ford?
If you're concerned that Ford's turnaround has run its course, relax -- there's good reason to think that the Blue Oval still has big growth opportunities ahead. We've outlined those opportunities in detail, in the Fool's premium Ford research service. If you're looking for some freshly updated guidance to Ford's prospects in coming years, you've come to the right place -- click here to get started now.


Read/Post Comments (47) | Recommend This Article (8)

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  • Report this Comment On April 20, 2013, at 1:41 PM, TMFTwoCoins wrote:

    As a former marketer, I understand that small company's thrive off a niche in the market place. Large companies thrive off having products at every level, entry up to luxury. It's the ol' "good, better, best strategy" and it works.

    Ford has a large gap in the most profitable segment, maybe not the best idea. If the mid-size pickup segment doesn't rebound with the trend of downsizing that is taking place in America, then it will be an OK decision.

    If the mid-size segment grows, not only do they lose revenue, Ford loses entry level customers which are typically younger and first time owner consumers. Not good for building the future customer base.

  • Report this Comment On April 20, 2013, at 5:01 PM, TSP1973 wrote:

    I have had Ford Rangers in the past and loved everyone of them. They are dependable, reliable, very affordable and have good gas mileage compared to other trucks! I think it is a very big mistake for them to get rid of a very good American truck like the Ford Ranger!

  • Report this Comment On April 20, 2013, at 5:02 PM, jcphenry wrote:

    The mid size trucks didn't appeal to those who really needed a full-size truck for the bed and towing capacity. At the same time, they didn't cost all that much less than a full size truck nor was their fuel efficiency all that much superior to a full-size truck.

    In other markets, there just aren't offered the same alternative options in a full-size pickup truck and compacts, which are also available with more fuel-efficient diesel engines, are the primary offering in the light truck market, which is overall much smaller as their use is principally as commercial and not personal vehicles.

  • Report this Comment On April 20, 2013, at 5:12 PM, m777k wrote:

    MORE STUPIDITY from Ford. I sell Fords and people are BEGGING for Rangers.

    How about just getting rid of MULLALLY and his band of freaking idiots.

    And oh by the way. . . Where is the replacement for the Lincoln Towne Car that people are asking me for EVERY DAY?

    Oh yeah, the idiot discontinued that model too !

    So, we send them off to buy a Cadillac.

    Brilliant Mullally ! Just Brilliant!

  • Report this Comment On April 20, 2013, at 5:34 PM, JJSVA wrote:

    "However, demand for small trucks is fading fast in the United States"

    Might explain why I still get at least 3-4 people walk up to me and ask if I want to sell my 1986 (27 years old) Toyota SR5 X-Cab with 410,000 miles that gets 32 MPG at 65 MPH, 1/2 ton cap, 2000lb tow because they all say they want a small truck.

    They don't but small as the Ranger MPG wasn't any better than a F150. Give them a true small truck great mileage and it will sell.

  • Report this Comment On April 20, 2013, at 5:38 PM, duudaa wrote:

    I bought my Ranger on a close out and its a nice truck. Ford goofed and should be down sizing their vehicles. Now if I was Ford I would redesign it and release a new one 2014/15. I would go with a Ranchero / old Subaru Brat remake 2.3l 2wd and 4wd.

  • Report this Comment On April 20, 2013, at 5:44 PM, Doozytoo wrote:

    A very very poor move on Fords part. I loved my Rangers (three of them). Now I have a F-150 which is nice but it gets lousy gas mileage. I do not need a big truck for my in city uses.

    Ford needs to bring back the Ranger. Toyota is a good truck but very expensive to buy and to maintain.

    I dispute the statement that demand for small trucks is fading...

  • Report this Comment On April 20, 2013, at 5:45 PM, tcandadai wrote:

    I know of Ford Ranger, but I don't believe it has the name-recognition of F-150 or other similar pick-up.

    And, m777k, it would have been nice and civilized if you had limited your comments to the topic instead of personal attack of Mr. Mullally.

  • Report this Comment On April 20, 2013, at 5:45 PM, Grimm101 wrote:

    I don't work for Ford so I wouldn't know what they are planning or thinking. However, I think the reason behind eliminating Ford Ranger may be more to do with operation gain/loss than a strategic marketing. Yes, you could potentially get buyers from this market to shift to a larger pickup truck market, but that is very hard when you have to ask them to spend more money.

    I don't know why, but why does the writer not mention the fact that Ford Ranger was neglected by the company? While Tacoma, Frontier, and two GM trucks received progressive redesigning, Ranger was left alone with very minor facial lifts. Although the market for this segment is dying, it doesn't mean that Ranger can't steal back much of their lost market shares.

    To me, Ford has completed its strategic shift. Earlier in 2000, they were struggling with slow down in SUV sales. If you look at their new lineup, they are more concern with smaller cars. They are heavily concentrating on improving their smaller cars. They have been very successful at this by introducing turbocharged engines and increasing efficiency in small engines. Beyond that, just look at their sedans and coupes. They are more frequently redesigning these cars to catch up with its competitors. They are now playing by the rules that Honda and Toyota created, and I would say that Ford is not threatening them and others with their products.

  • Report this Comment On April 20, 2013, at 5:47 PM, BrianR59 wrote:

    The F150 doesn't fit in the garage so that's one strike. Its to big fo my purposes whether it gets the same milage as a Ranger or not, that's strike two. Strike three is I just don't want one. So I sold my Ranger and got a New Nissan instead. Goodbye Ford it was a noce 18 years.

  • Report this Comment On April 20, 2013, at 5:48 PM, StonyRidge wrote:

    The Ranger was a great truck. My first new vehicle was an 85 Ranger 4cyl. stick.. It was perfect. No problems at all. But, the Rangers fuel mileage went down as years went on. F 150 was getting the same Mileage at the end. Henry ford opened that plant(85yrs.ago) in Wisc. where the Ranger was made. I hated to see that go. If they would make them small like the first ones with better mileage than the last ones made. I am certain it would be a huge success. The Ranger has a cult type following that would be glad to buy.

  • Report this Comment On April 20, 2013, at 5:50 PM, sashafrash wrote:

    Gas prices trending lower? Really? It's like $3.60 a gallon for regular in Detroit right now.

    Getting rid of the Ranger was dumb. If you know ANYTHING about trucks, you know that an F150 is NOT an equal substitution for the Ranger.

  • Report this Comment On April 20, 2013, at 6:12 PM, fjrcarl wrote:

    This is why I believe that Ford is/was foolish.

    1) I recently went shopping for a small 4 wheel drive pickup. I do not like GM at all so that was out.....and the Dakota isnt made anymore. I reluctantly bought Toyota despite having never owned one before and all of the bad press they have gotten lately.

    2) We will reach a point again where fuel mileage matters. It should matter now but with the amount of the silly lifted trucks you see these days spewing diesel smoke it seems to not.

    Ford may very well have let a small truck customer get away and may never be able to undo that.

  • Report this Comment On April 20, 2013, at 6:19 PM, Expert01565 wrote:

    I heard that Chrysler/Fiat is in the works for a smaller pick up! and being that the fastest growing truck brand is actually the RAM, I think Ford needs to rethink there decision! and also Motley again another bad article , If your going to mention how GM are planning on coming back to the Small Pickup seg then mention all the Rivals that FORD will have, and You mentioned Toyota But not Chrysler?!

  • Report this Comment On April 20, 2013, at 6:31 PM, totalcurmudgeon wrote:

    In my opinion, the problem is not that the segment (mid sized truck) has died, it is that there are no choices. The Ranger was a good truck but very boring. The Frontier and Tacoma are almost as big as their siblings and overpriced...no entry level truck to speak of. Tacomas are popular enough that there are no discounts at the dealers. And the Colorado and Dakota trucks were never well received and full of quality issues and bad press. The dealers have overoptioned this segment to death (Tacoma) and put the small-mid sized trucks out of the price range of young buyers. There is still a huge need for a small-mid sized economical truck (15-20k) with 4cyl. but I think the manufacturers are too out of touch to see it.

  • Report this Comment On April 20, 2013, at 6:32 PM, aaron1234 wrote:

    I have a Ranger. Uncomfortable. Cramped but tough as nails. But I will keep it forever unless I find a cool replacement. The full sized trucks are too big for me. Too hard to park, won't fit in my garage, not agile.

    Every compact truck platform is ugly and/or dated and gets poor fuel economy.....hence the reason for not so great sales.

    A more modern small truck could be built as a compact van with a truck bed...more bed space more cabin space...and it should look cool.....and of course also be available as a compact van....

    I could just see a vehicle such as a modern VW Microbus available either in van or truck configuration at more entry level pricing selling like hotcakes(their current proposal is not visually appealing).

  • Report this Comment On April 20, 2013, at 6:37 PM, ncranger2002 wrote:

    I own 2 Rangers. My brother owns a Ranger. I've talked several friends into buying Rangers over the years. It's a small truck and perfect for those of us that don't need the big truck to do our lifting. (The F-150 is and has always been over priced. Gas mileage is terrible on that truck, too!) It gets great mileage and is fun to drive.

    Ford is definitely moving in the wrong direction and since you've mentioned the Toyota Tacoma. I may look at that model when the time comes to replace my Rangers. Nothing Ford sells these days even peaks my interest.

    I love Ford, and am a 3rd generation Ford owner and operator.

  • Report this Comment On April 20, 2013, at 6:41 PM, AmericanFirst wrote:

    Grimm101,

    I'm sorry, but you need do a liitle home work before you make any comments regarding Ford. Ford, March 2013 Ytd. had more vehicles (3) in Top 10 vehicles sold in the U.S (F150, Fusion, Escape) than any other mfg.and has increased their market share percentage in the U.S more than any other mfg. Those are the facts......check it out! By the way, Ford also has the highest owner loyalty per R.L. Polk.

  • Report this Comment On April 20, 2013, at 6:44 PM, TMFGemHunter wrote:

    @Expert01565: the smaller Ram truck is just a rumor. It's almost certainly not happening in the next couple of years, which is why I didn't mention it.

    Ford will only have made a mistake if the overall market for small-midsize pickups starts growing again. I don't dispute that a lot of people love their Ford Rangers -- or other brands smaller trucks. But the sales data is absolutely clear. The Ranger was selling more than 300,000 a year in 2000; by 2007 that was down to less than 75,000. It never got back above that level.

    It's true that the Ranger went a long time without getting a major redesign, and that probably hurt sales. But the big reason why it didn't get re-designed sooner was because the category was already shrinking. The estimates I've seen suggest it costs $1 billion to develop a new model, which is why it was ignored for so long. You can't justify that kind of money for 100,000 units a year.

    Today, there is a global Ranger that could theoretically be imported. But as I stated above, it's very close in size to the F-150 and much less profitable. If Ford can convince even 30%-40% of the people who might buy a Ranger to step up to the F-150, it will make more profit without the Ranger.

    Adam

  • Report this Comment On April 20, 2013, at 6:46 PM, crash3085 wrote:

    Ford made two mistakes with the Ranger. The first one was they ran the previous model way too long without updating it. And it wasn't a very good truck compared to the imports. Better than the Chevy Colorado by miles, but compared to Toyota and Nissan it was pretty stale. But it still sold pretty well because it was the only "American" brand small truck that wasn't a total pile of dung. The second mistake, of course, was killing it off instead of redesigning it. A fresh face, modern updates, and quality to match the F-150 would have revived the Ranger. And probably still could. Not everyone wants a full size pickup. In fact, plenty of people probably would like an even smaller pickup.

  • Report this Comment On April 20, 2013, at 6:54 PM, RangerFord5 wrote:

    As a long time Ranger owner I can't help thinking, that what Mulally & company are doing, is playing

    " Wait & See " .. They have an " International Ranger ", that with little up-grading can be brought to the U.S. market on a moments notice .. They're going to " wait & see " what GM's new, larger Colorado / Canyon will do in the market-place .. If it starts stealing full-size sales from Ford, you can bet, the Ranger will be back !! Why spend your own money investing in a " might-sell ", when your competition is doing it for you ?!

  • Report this Comment On April 20, 2013, at 6:58 PM, stealthm1 wrote:

    The ford ranger sucked. It sucked more than the Chevy or the Toyota. I looked at a cira 2008 and there was an engine harness basically laying over the top of the engine. Obviously, the harness was the last consideration, and I saw many more durability problems in the wiring, only looking in the engine compartment. Ford has never been very good at doing the wiring, tubing and piping, but it was the worst that I have ever seen. There is 0% chance that I would or have ever purchased a Ford vehicle. Anyone that does doesn't understand vehicle design.

  • Report this Comment On April 20, 2013, at 7:02 PM, Rowlandville wrote:

    This is my second comment on Ford products in four hours. But here we go:

    I am 52. When I was in my teens, the country around us (southern Michigan) went crazy for small Toyota and Chevy pickups. They were perfect for most people who didn't need a full-sized truck.

    Even the Ford Ranger is too big. I think that's its weakness. Why go a half-size down from the F-150? And that may be Ford's rationale for killing it. But what their market research is missing is what would actually happen (verses theoretically happen) if they launched a truly small pickup. Or let me put it another way: If Ford had acted on market research in the 1960s, would we have ever had the Mustang? The answer is no, because people don't always know what they want until it's right in front of them. (Did you know what you wanted in a partner until she/he came into your life?)

  • Report this Comment On April 20, 2013, at 7:52 PM, shepherd1951 wrote:

    They should have never done away with the aerostar .A great small commercial van . Gave the market to GMC

  • Report this Comment On April 20, 2013, at 7:53 PM, TMFGemHunter wrote:

    @Rowlandville: You might be right. But the fact that nobody else is making a true compact pickup today (in the U.S. market) suggests that there's not enough of a market there. Is it possible that all the automakers are wrong? I guess so; it just seems unlikely.

    The real problem is that once you have to design a new vehicle from scratch, you need to do a lot of volume to make it worth your while; especially since a compact pickup is not likely to have great margins. I can't see Ford risking $1 billion or $2 billion on development for a truck that would probably only sell 100-150K units in a best case scenario. Better to concentrate on making the F-Series as good as it can be.

    Adam

  • Report this Comment On April 20, 2013, at 8:10 PM, cdm2395 wrote:

    I didn't know Ford still made the ranger. They've updated the styling of the F150 at least twice since the last time I remember a new Ranger.

    However, the picture in this article is a good looking truck that could compete with the Toyo. GM shouldn't bother if they put that crappy 5 cyl. back in the Canyon.

    Not sure why they wouldn't just build a smaller versions of the F150, Silverado (a la BMW). Those are solid looking trucks.

  • Report this Comment On April 20, 2013, at 8:36 PM, TMFTwoCoins wrote:

    Adam,

    They wouldn't be designing a new vehicle from scratch. They would already have the platform that could be used. The only thing would be tooling for certain parts if it were to be made in U.S. plants.

    It's not just as cut and dry as your argument makes. Even if Ford wasn't making enough profits to be satisfied with the sales volume, can it afford to have GM, Toyota, and Nissan grabbing all the younger truck consumers entering the market? If that alone detracts 5% market share years down the road due to "would be" ranger buyers being conformed to GM buyers then stepped into Silverado's, it's a bad decision -- in my opinion.

    Gotta grow your consumer base and future lifeblood. Cutting your entry level won't do it. How many highschoolers drive F-150s? None. How many drove Rangers? A lot.

  • Report this Comment On April 20, 2013, at 8:55 PM, TMFGemHunter wrote:

    Hi Daniel,

    Thanks for the comment! I was referring to Rowlandville's suggestion that Ford should market a truck that's smaller than the current Ranger. The problem with the international Ranger (according to Ford's management) is that it is too close in size to the F-150. If Ford wanted a compact (as opposed to midsize) truck, it would have to start from scratch.

    I agree that there's something to be said for having entry level products. But I'm not sure that's really necessary in the pickup market. Why would a high schooler need a truck? That seems to go to Ford management's point that many Ranger buyers were just looking for the cheapest vehicle they could buy. Ford is probably better off trying to sell Fiesta/Focus to that market than a cheap pickup.

    There's always a sales benefit to filling every niche. But from a strategic standpoint, there's a lot of value to streamlining. I don't know for sure that Ford's struck the right balance, but killing the Ranger certainly seems like a reasonable step.

    Adam

  • Report this Comment On April 20, 2013, at 9:16 PM, wbmatch wrote:

    I am a small truck fan. I have owned a 1973 Ford Courier (lousy drum brakes), 1983 Nissan (great road vehicle), 1987 Mitsubishi (fragile), 1989 S-10 (junk), 2004 Nissan Frontier (under steered like a pig). I bought a 2011 Ranger new with 2wd and a 4cyl/5spd. I love it! Best small truck I have ever owned, handles and steers great, 4 wheel disc brakes and super stable at 85mph. My only complaint is the mileage. After all the advances in technology, why can't they get 30mpg out of a small truck? This truck gets the same high 20's mpg all of my trucks have ever given.

    The market for small trucks never disappeared. The manufacturers and marketers have convinced the public that we all need to tow a 20,000 pound trailer and live the construction / rancher lifestyle. More profitable in the short run but in the end they lose a customer.

    Oh well, perhaps Hyundai will recognize a hole in the market and capitalize on it as adeptly as they have with their cars.

  • Report this Comment On April 20, 2013, at 9:17 PM, xraychick wrote:

    its nonsense ford got rid of the rangers. i own a ranger. bought it new, and its 13 years old. its dying and i'm in the market for a new truck. I need a truck to haul garbage, as my town doesnt offer that service. plus i work in the yard and haul soil, etc. and other things. but i DO NOT need a full size huge gas guzzling truck like the 150. It is way out of my price range. Sure I could get the cheapo model with no ammenities, or I can buy a midsize/small truck from nissan and get all of them for the same price with better gas mileage. So, I would have bought a ranger, but now I'm set to buy a nissan frontier. so you shot yourself in the foot ford.

  • Report this Comment On April 20, 2013, at 9:19 PM, TMFTwoCoins wrote:

    Ahh, gotcha. Yes, it is about 90% the size, at least.

    You might be right, fleet buyers and younger consumers did purchase the Ranger for its fuel efficiency, which is more readily available now in other vehicles than it once was.

    Gonna disagree with the last point though, Ford's streamlining wouldn't be affected by bringing the Ranger back. If it killed it off globally, that'd be different. Since its still sold in 180 countries, the economies of scale are already there. I think Ford left the door open for this when it made sure it was designed overseas to meet every single U.S. regulation.

    Either way, nice write up. For what it's worth, I don't think Ford can bring back the Ranger now with GM announcing the Canyon and Colorado will be re-introduced with two different consumer targets. Ford is too late to the game now until the segment truly shows it can grow again. I'm definitely curious to see how GM's two trucks do with their comeback.

  • Report this Comment On April 20, 2013, at 9:22 PM, will5693 wrote:

    If Ford ever decides to bring back the Ranger, I hope they put better automatic transmissions in them. They should have been recalled.

  • Report this Comment On April 20, 2013, at 9:45 PM, randf7 wrote:

    Abandoning faithful Ranger buyers in North America was a stupid decision by Ford. If Ranger owners wanted a full size truck, they would have purchased an F150. Now I will keep my Ranger longer and when I do replace it, I won't be buying a Ford truck. They lost a customer.

  • Report this Comment On April 20, 2013, at 11:27 PM, Cyclist666 wrote:

    My RX to GMC would be to make a nice light truck with the new Chevy Cruze diesel engine, generous standard features, and go for very high volumes right from the start, looking to take the entire market from Ford, Nissan, Toyota, everybody.

    I owned a 1999 Nissan Maxima that was built on this philosophy. It only came with a great V6 engine, only 4-door, only auto tranny, etc, but lots of standard features. I got a sunroof and leather seats, and that was about the entire options list. They sold them like hot cakes. Almost the same car as the current 2013 Altima.

    F has made a mistake, but not walking away from all their debt like GM did in bankruptcy, they may have to pic and choose their battles, while GM can be more aggressive. The Cadillac brand has certainly benefited from all the R&D $$$ GM has to spend.

    I personally would like to see SOMEONE make a truck similar to the old 1970s vintage VW diesel truck (kind of an El Camino vehicle concelt) which got ~50 mpg, and those still around sell for huge premiums.

  • Report this Comment On April 20, 2013, at 11:34 PM, Olbaid22 wrote:

    Ford has made a Huge mistake. The Attraction of the Ranger was not the more Worked up models they tried to Push 4x4 and High End.

    The Best Ranger was the Low end Model Basic Utility Truck!! Low cost to buy and to Maintain.

    Great gas Economy Decent size Bed and a 3 Person Bench Seat.

    This truck model got Tweaked out of Usefulness.

    Add in 4x4 and leather and AC and Power everything make it an automatic and you are left with a useles Utility truck that costs you more then a Decent Car

    Ford forgot on this Model what made then Great Simple Dependable Vehicles.

  • Report this Comment On April 20, 2013, at 11:39 PM, Lovmytruck wrote:

    This is the reason I am driving a Tacoma, I wanted to buy a 4dr Ranger, pickup, and they told me at the time Ford didn't make a 4dr, only in sports track. Well I didn't want an explorer with the Back cut out, and be called a truck with 4dr. So I looked around and found the Toyota Tacoma 4dr,full 6ft, bed,141 inch wheel base, and 5 speed auto. Everything I was looking for in a truck, and I am very happy with my Toyota.

  • Report this Comment On April 20, 2013, at 11:43 PM, Cyclist666 wrote:

    I agree with so many of the comments here that the Ranger is too big.

    I don't need to sit 5ft above the ground. I don't need to tow more than 1,500lbs. I don't need a big, heavy, steel frame which adds 800lbs and wastes 6-7".

    I don't know what the economics of production are, but a Honda Ridgeline type vehicle, with a lower profile, would be perfect for me. Make the thing sit down on the road, like the 1980s vintage Toyota Tacoma did, give it an aerodynamic front end and cab, and use the diesel's torque to drive tall gears at freeway speeds, or give it a CVT or 7-8 speed tranny.

    I also like the Escalade/Ridgeline blended cab/bed feature, but whatever they do, I don't want to have to buy a Club Cab just to keep the back of my head from resting against the back window when sitting in a normal, upright position. Put back the 5-6" of space the gas tank used to guarantee was there in old style trucks.

    Personally, I'd love a floor hatch in the area behind the seats - a half-Club space like my Mazda B2000 Club Cab circa 1986 had - that I could lock so when some sorry SOB breaks in they still can't steal whatever I have locked in the floor. Getting rid of the frame makes this logical and relatively easy.

  • Report this Comment On April 21, 2013, at 12:27 AM, uncoveror wrote:

    I always thought I would eventually replace my old Ranger with a new one. Since I can't, I will replace it with something non-Ford, and will never buy a Ford again. If you try to tell me what I can have instead of asking me what I want, you have lost a customer. I doubt that I am alone in this.

  • Report this Comment On April 21, 2013, at 1:40 AM, hockeypuck777 wrote:

    Who killed the Ford Ranger? The uneducated consumer! duh!... BIG TRUCK LESS PRICE..AND CASH ALLOWANCE! Who cares if I live in a trailer park! As long as I can deliver pizza in a new truck!

  • Report this Comment On April 21, 2013, at 2:14 AM, daveescaped wrote:

    As a shareholder I like this move by Ford. American auto product lineups MUST get streamlined. Multiple nameplates is not an approach that works globally. Ask a European who makes Lincoln. Ask them who makes Dodge. They have no idea. And now China has given American auto companies the chance to finally get it right globally. But if you come at them with 9 different nameplates each selling a range from trucks to subcompacts you will lose. Streamline, streamline, streamline. Look at Audi for example. A bloody simple lineup from A3-A8. No advanced consumership required. If Ford can get down tomaking one fantastic pickup as well as a lineup of cars starting with a sub and up to an SUV with a solid luxury offering included they just might still win.

  • Report this Comment On April 21, 2013, at 5:37 AM, 6t9boss wrote:

    Orkin, Terminex, Bug Busters just to name a few in just ONE segment of the service industry...AutoZone, Advance, NAPA...Another segment that uses small delivery trucks and the Service Industry segment is huge in this country.

    Ford can make a 40mpg Ranger that service companies would eat up ...and they will when the data comes back on those stupid looking Transports that sound like you are riding in a "tin can". and when the turbo's go out on those v6 F 150's...then Toyota, Nissan and Chevrolet will be there to pick up all that business.

    Have you seen the rise in prices in the used truck market for the Ranger lately?

    Ford is not an American Company producing an American product anymore....so why would America benefit from anything they do?

  • Report this Comment On April 21, 2013, at 5:47 AM, hannahroo wrote:

    The new Ford Ranger is a good looking truck.

    I live in Thailand and it is one hot seller here now with the new look. Use to be Toyota and Izuzu were the big one to buy but Ford and Mazada are selling big time now...

    If I was back living in the states I would but the Ranger, Ford don't dump it you will be sorry...

  • Report this Comment On April 21, 2013, at 5:53 AM, hannahroo wrote:

    I forgot to mention that the Ranger and Mazda here in Thailand are diesel and yes they do have 4X4....By the way diesel is the cheepest fuel here also 29.95 Baht per lieter...

  • Report this Comment On April 21, 2013, at 7:19 AM, 35whelen wrote:

    The world needs, not just America, a small utilitarian pick-up. It needs to designed so that labor cost are minimized (have you tried to replace a heater in anything built in the last 30 years?). The vehicle needs either a chain driven ohc or to be pushrod actuated, no 60,000 cam belt changes. The vehicle needs to be owner friendly to maintain such as not a hassle to change the water pump or heater core. Of course certain functions need to go to the shop when computers are involved (maybe) but if you can turn a wrench you should be able to fix most of what's wrong with your truck as I see it. It's time for a "people's" truck. I would use it for a commuter most of the time yet have truck capabilities as needed. If I need a big truck I can rent one but for most of my truck needs a small truck (not mid-sized) would do. I had a Isuzu pick-up which was the right size and mpg but it was not as easy to work on as it should have been. Think VW bug, CJ5, early Toyota trucks, etc. markets explode when these vehicles catch on, the consumer and the provider benefit mightily for at least a while until the manufacturer decide to "jump the shark", think mid-seventies Mustangs. Anyway maybe Ford or someone will build what many of us need.

  • Report this Comment On April 21, 2013, at 11:03 AM, TMFGemHunter wrote:

    @6t9boss: I have no idea what you mean about Ford not being an American company. Anyway, it's not surprising that used Ranger prices have risen now that Ford is not making new ones.

    I'm sure there would be a market for 50-100K Rangers a year, but Ford makes more money by steering people towards other cars and trucks in its lineup even if half of the people who would have bought Rangers go and buy a Tacoma instead. That's just the way the business works (especially because the F-Series is so profitable). If Ford could really sell 300K Rangers a year in the U.S. like it did around 2000, it would be a different story. I don't think the market is that big, though.

  • Report this Comment On April 21, 2013, at 12:21 PM, cityperson wrote:

    Ford just wants to make the money off the large F-150 pickup. The smaller truck does not bring in as much cash. So we keep making Japan richer with their small truck.

  • Report this Comment On April 21, 2013, at 7:01 PM, TMFGemHunter wrote:

    It's not like Toyota actually makes a ton of money off the Tacoma. It doesn't sell nearly as many units as Camry, Corolla, or Prius. And the Tacoma is made in the USA from primarily American parts, so that money all stays in the U.S. economy.

    Adam

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