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5 Reasons To Bring Back The Ford Ranger ASAP
Car Connection | August 26, 2015


Remember the Ford Ranger? The often-maligned pint-sized pickup that disappeared from U.S. showrooms around 2011? According to Detroit News, it could be poised for a comeback, and the timing couldn't be better.

THE FORD RANGER: A BRIEF HISTORY

Truck fans of a certain age remember when the Ranger was just a trim package on the Ford F-150 during the 1960s and 1970s. Then, in model-year 1983, the Ford Ranger became a pickup in its own right, a compact complement to the full-sized F-150.

Over the next 30 years, the Ranger grew until it reached mid-size status. Unfortunately, its fame and brand loyalty didn't grow at the same rate, lagging far behind the F-150. Some owners complained of quality issues, others groused about the fact that it was being rebadged as a Mazda B-Series, but the Ranger remained a reasonably good seller.

ALSO SEE: Holy Crap, The Ford Bronco May Make A Comeback, Too

Then came the Great Recession. Auto sales plummeted, and perhaps no segment was harder hit than pickups. That wasn't just because of soaring gas prices and the fact that pickups earn lower fuel economy than cars. The slump was also due to the collapsed construction market, a key driver for truck sales.

In many ways, the Ranger's demise came down to survival of the fittest. Ford knew that recession or not, the F-150 would continue to be a sales powerhouse. The Ranger? Not so much. The last U.S. Ranger rolled off the assembly line in December 2011.

But the Ranger didn't die -- not even close. It's still sold in about 200 markets outside the U.S. And it may be returning to the states in 2018.

RECENT DEVELOPMENTS

Ford is currently in contract negotiations with the UAW, and at least one unnamed source familiar with the talks has said that the Ranger is part of those discussions.

Though we're always a bit suspicious of anonymous sources, this particular rumor makes a good bit of sense. We can think of at least five reasons that bringing back the Ranger would be a good idea for Ford.

1. The F-150 is huge. Seriously, have you seen one lately? Of course you have: it's the most popular vehicle in America. Now think about the F-150s you used to know in the 1980s and 90s. There's no comparison. Many people who need a truck don't need that much of it. The Ranger could be a kinder, gentler, smaller alternative.

2. The F-150 is pricey. Without incentives, the cheapest F-150 XL starts above $27,000. That leaves Ford plenty of room to drop in a mid-size sibling that's closer to $20,000 or $21,000. Though it wouldn't be the profit center that the F-150 is, the Ranger could generate significant sales because...

3. There aren't many competitors in the smaller truck arena. The Toyota Tacoma (MSRP: $20,965) handily dominates the field, with the Nissan Frontier picking up most of the scraps. GM understands this: that's why it recently redesigned the Chevrolet Colorado.

4. Ford has the bandwidth. The automaker is shifting production of the Ford Focus and C-Max, which will leave its Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne available for the Ranger. Though Ford can build many of its vehicles outside the U.S., Ford needs to make trucks in America or pay the much-discussed "chicken tax".

5. Fuel is cheap. Like it or not, fuel economy remains a major consideration for auto shoppers. Even though smaller pickups like the Ranger seem like gas-sippers next to larger trucks, they can't hold their own with other rides geared for schleppers, like crossovers. With many predicting that gas will remain cheap for the foreseeable future, it seems like Ford ought to make hay (and Rangers) while the sun shines.
 

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2015 Ford Ranger Regular Cab

What seems to be happening with Global Ranger marketing, is Ford uses the bigger/more imposing, more expensive AWD 4-door version in 99% of marketing, to make the midsize truck look as big as possible, because they sell it as a 'large' truck in most other countries, where F-150 is not sold. Which is why we don't see many images of the less expensive, smaller, RWD regular and super cab models that may sell better in the US market.
 

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2015 Ford Ranger Regular Cab

What seems to be happening with Global Ranger marketing, is Ford uses the bigger/more imposing, more expensive AWD 4-door version in 99% of marketing, to make the midsize truck look as big as possible, because they sell it as a 'large' truck in most other countries, where F-150 is not sold. Which is why we don't see many images of the less expensive, smaller, RWD regular and super cab models that may sell better in the US market.
There is no regular cab with a short bed.
Rangers come with one wheelbase. The regular cab has a long bed, the extended cab has a shorter bed, while the crew cab has the shortest bed.

Here is the extended cab (open cab) Ranger in XLS trim.

-ford.co.th

The lower trim RWD variants can be had with the regular low suspension Ford calls "lo-rider" (pic below), the RWD models with the 4x4 variant's ride height is called Hi-rider (pic above).
Pre-facelift 2013 model shown

-bhauto.my

The mid-range XLT and top Wildtrak are often used in advertising because these are the ones people go for. It's become a pickup alternative to compact crossovers like the Escape or CR-V.

The base Rangers I see around the city are mostly Police pickups.

-Top Gear Ph
 

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Regarding #3, may not be many competitors in the market, but I'd say the Colorado-GMC Canyon duo should be 1 of the 5 reasons in & of themselves.


Cort :) www.oldcarsstronghearts.com
1979 & 1989 Caprice Classics | pigValve, paceMaker, cowValve
"Help me leave behind some reasons to be missed" __ Linkin Park __ 'Leave Out All The Rest'
 

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Ranger isn't ready yet for US consumption. The GM twins would eat the current Ranger alive, vastly better vehicles in every detail (for the US consumer). The EcoSport failure in Europe shouldn't be forgotten so quickly.
 

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Mercury C557
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that looks nice :joyous:
"...I get a peaceful, easy feeling..."

1. The F-150 is huge. Seriously, have you seen one lately? Of course you have: it's the most popular vehicle in America. Now think about the F-150s you used to know in the 1980s and 90s. There's no comparison. Many people who need a truck don't need that much of it. The Ranger could be a kinder, gentler, smaller alternative.
:thumb:

2. The F-150 is pricey. Without incentives, the cheapest F-150 XL starts above $27,000. That leaves Ford plenty of room to drop in a mid-size sibling that's closer to $20,000 or $21,000. Though it wouldn't be the profit center that the F-150 is, the Ranger could generate significant sales because...
&OR...
they can RAISE the price of the base F-150
Anyone know if GM did this?

4. Ford has the bandwidth. The automaker is shifting production of the Ford Focus and C-Max, which will leave its Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne available for the Ranger. Though Ford can build many of its vehicles outside the U.S., Ford needs to make trucks in America or pay the much-discussed "chicken tax".
2018-9

5. Fuel is cheap. Like it or not, fuel economy remains a major consideration for auto shoppers. Even though smaller pickups like the Ranger seem like gas-sippers next to larger trucks, they can't hold their own with other rides geared for schleppers, like crossovers. With many predicting that gas will remain cheap for the foreseeable future, it seems like Ford ought to make hay (and Rangers) while the sun shines
now=sorta
soon(supposedly)=significantly lower
2018-9... who knows
eventually = Not On Your Life


There is no regular cab with a short bed...
well, that's just plain NOT TRYING, imhO

doesn't even give me a schadenfreude boost to know FoMoCo pulls that garbage outside the U.S
 

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Ranger isn't ready yet for US consumption. The GM twins would eat the current Ranger alive, vastly better vehicles in every detail (for the US consumer). The EcoSport failure in Europe shouldn't be forgotten so quickly.
The EcoSport shuld be redesign with the EU and USA market in mind. Ford needs a subcompact crossover in USA rigth now.
 

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Mercury C557
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since this thread is perhaps more speculative than the main Ranger/Bronco thread;
& since imhO, major savings would happen with a one-class 4cyl engine compartment (unlike the 2.3EB MusStang)
...

adapted from elsewhere:
"1.5EB to start, would easily be low 30s mpgH wise. In the Fusion 25/37?
AWD 2.0EB ... 20+/30~?
+ use the 2.5 for the base/cheap version"
&
2.3EB = fX

then
use bigger engines in the Xaptor versions, perhaps including a pickup form-factor
?
crossreference
 

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The irony of commenting on this for me is that I'd see it as speaking more for those friends and co-workers that had these trucks and loved them. Would they buy a new one? Of course, with the inhuman scale of the latest trucks, were I to consider a truck, this is the size class I'd look at.
 
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