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Where Did The Compact Pickups Go?
www.autoguide.com



Bigger isn’t always better, although domestic automakers are pretending not to hear you when it comes to compact pickups. Why?

On December 2011, Ford produced its last Ranger for the US, a truck that had a 28 year heritage as being an affordable, fuel-efficient and market friendly vehicle. True, the Ranger was looking quite prehistoric by the time it was let go, and sales numbers for compact pickups were dwindling from what they used to be, but is that enough of a reason to kill off the vehicle, and send your buyers to another automaker?

When the Ranger was stopped in December 2011, it had already sold 70,000 models that year. Compact pickups are still a significant segment, with Rangers still being sold off Ford lots today.

Toyota and Nissan now stand un-opposed; with Toyota selling more than 12,000 Tacoma’s this past month alone. That shows that there are still buyers in the compact pickup market, and that a proper small pickup is still more important to truck-buyers than something like the Honda Ridgeline (which couldn’t sell more than 1,000 last month.)

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Mercury C557
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just my outsider imho
it was something between mono-mania(s) & the perfect storm
- customers kept wanting more & more truck capability**
- the mfgs specialized for pricing & profits
- Suvs took care of outliers ie lite-truckers

is that too simple?

OH...
- gov'mint regs (continue to) work against rational options



**edit
from what I read, that mentality (by FoMoCo guys) is what killed the "F-100" of a few years ago;
the 'team' kept adding more&more capability to the original specs until it was 90+% of an F-150 ... why bother?
 

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**edit
from what I read, that mentality (by FoMoCo guys) is what killed the "F-100" of a few years ago;
the 'team' kept adding more&more capability to the original specs until it was 90+% of an F-150 ... why bother?
Because there is a market for a truck that is 10% smaller then the current full size F-150's. I currently drive a Chevy :facepalm: 2500HD, I got it with less then 30,000 miles on it for less then $10K so I couldn't pass it up. I have to say its been one **** of a good truck for the past 35000 miles! The reality is I would love a truck that was 80-90% the size of this one, and I just don't utilize the available capacity but maybe one a year, if that.

My personal opinion is the F-150 should be downsized by around 10% and leave the Super Duty's for those who actually need/want the full size monster trucks! The vast majority of people who drive a F-150 use it as though it were a sedan, so they wouldn't really miss the extra capacity or capability and those that would could step up to the F-250.
 

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Would it be a viable option to utilize the new Escape platform to make a small pick up? It can tow 3500 lbs. when equipped right. Ford could use all of the engines available in the crossover but perhaps make 4WD standard.
 

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Mercury C557
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Would it be a viable option to utilize the new Escape platform to make a small pick up? It can tow 3500 lbs. when equipped right. Ford could use all of the engines available in the crossover but perhaps make 4WD standard.
hey T'Cal, remember these Mercury Mariner-based "trucklets"?
mine:

YOURS:

both pix^ link to larger versions in Mission:MERCURY!
 

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Because there is a market for a truck that is 10% smaller then the current full size F-150's. I currently drive a Chevy :facepalm: 2500HD, I got it with less then 30,000 miles on it for less then $10K so I couldn't pass it up. I have to say its been one **** of a good truck for the past 35000 miles! The reality is I would love a truck that was 80-90% the size of this one, and I just don't utilize the available capacity but maybe one a year, if that.

My personal opinion is the F-150 should be downsized by around 10% and leave the Super Duty's for those who actually need/want the full size monster trucks! The vast majority of people who drive a F-150 use it as though it were a sedan, so they wouldn't really miss the extra capacity or capability and those that would could step up to the F-250.
They could shrink it that much, but I suspect that would only result in decreased sales, and customers lost to the Super Duty trucks. That most of these people use these like cars is beside the point, and the inhuman scale of them is a selling point. I could show you an image of the target customer for these bigger trucks, at least as it works out where I live, standing in front of one, but it is quite, um, graphic, and displays an English, as opposed to Italian heritage, as it were.

The comment that the removal of the Ranger from the lineup leaves Nissan and Toyota unopposed in this segment says volumes about competitive spirit, doesn't it? Frankly, we thought the S10 and Ranger were going to drive the Japanese back into the ocean when they were introduced in the '80s. Nice to see how it turned out...
 

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First of all, I have no problem with a 'One Ford' global platform program, BUT America is the truck capital of the world. Most American truck buyers would not find the global Ranger appealing (including me). I love Ford, Chevrolet/GMC, and Dodge trucks, but I would buy the Tacoma over the global Ranger. The Tacoma looks tough and off-road ready, yet the global Ranger just looks ugly to me. I hope when GM releases the Colorado/Canyon trucks, they look more like mini Silverados/Sierrras as opposed to the "Traverse-front" global look.
 

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I find that as a nothing article to be honest. They even say there's no significant difference in size so why raise the point?

The local Falcon and Commodore utes are what I consider compact. Their lower height is ideal in many work areas and low enough to easily chuck a ladder on. The Falcon is available as a one tonne cab chassis.

A friend here went and bought a Hilux because the Ranger was too big. That's not compact, is it.
 

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Hmmm, the Explorer thread got me thinking... would Ford not be smart to leverage the Explorers success and create a new Sport Trac? Could such a vehicle not fill the Ranger role and also add to Explorer sales numbers? Would an Explorer-based pickup be too close in size to an F-150, or would it slot in at the right size?
 

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I find that as a nothing article to be honest. They even say there's no significant difference in size so why raise the point?

The local Falcon and Commodore utes are what I consider compact. Their lower height is ideal in many work areas and low enough to easily chuck a ladder on. The Falcon is available as a one tonne cab chassis.

A friend here went and bought a Hilux because the Ranger was too big. That's not compact, is it.

That's my point too, that Ranger sounds smaller and dimensionally is smaller.....until you climb up into one. It is not a small Ranger any more. So I could care less that we will never get that Ranger here in the states, if it is so close to F series. I do like the idea of an all new Sport Trac, as I was always a fan of that.


Until they let the world know what they have planned for the all new truck and it's versions, who can complain about this smaller truck....

 

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That's my point too, that Ranger sounds smaller and dimensionally is smaller.....until you climb up into one. It is not a small Ranger any more. So I could care less that we will never get that Ranger here in the states, if it is so close to F series. I do like the idea of an all new Sport Trac, as I was always a fan of that.


Until they let the world know what they have planned for the all new truck and it's versions, who can complain about this smaller truck....

How come Mexico gets both the world ranger and the F-150 (Lobo) then?
 

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Believe it or not, but I can put more stuff in the back of my compact 86 Nissan Kingcab than my buddy can with his F-150 because I have a bumped-up camper shell and he doesn't. My point being a compact pickup can do 90% of the work of a full-size pickup but do so cheaper and possibly use less fuel. Unfortunately NA hasn't had a compact pickup since Ford stopped production of the Ranger in 2009. Will an Explorer-based pickup get the job done - probably but why bother, it would be just another mid-size pickup without anything special to offer. The Frontier and Tacoma are solid trucks but they have been technically neglected and don't get good MPG. Next year (2015 model year) GM will reintroduce the Colorado and Canyon and will offer a small diesel option a year after that. We'll have to wait and see how these trucks will perform - my guess is they will be good vehicles. However, none of these options are compact pickups. I'd like Ford to build something like the RWD Aussie Ford Falcon Ute with a small diesel option for NA. If Ford built a compact pickup that got good MPG, performed well in crash tests, could haul 4 x 8 sheets, was RWD or 4WD, reliable, and reasonably priced - I think it would sell well. The question is can Ford make such a compact pickup and still make a profit? Perhaps if they used an existing platform like the mustang. I'm not suggesting the Ford Transit Connect because it has FWD - not a good choice for hauling.
 

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I believe that Ford will be paying close attention to the upcoming success of the Canyon/ Colorado twins but it still saddens me that Ford, GM, and Dodge gave Toyota this segment.
 

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I expect the Next Gen 2015 F-150 to grow a bit in size and capacity, so that the Global Ranger/F-100 will all of a sudden become a compact pick-up that does not overlap with F-150.

Global ranger has a 126.8 wheelbase, compared with the Tacoma with a 127.4 wheelbase, which Toyota sees no overlap with their full size Tundra.

Ford is the truck leader, and not offering the Global Ranger in NA is unthinkable.

It's just that it has to happen after the launch of the new King of the pick-ups.....the F-150.
 

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Hmmm, the Explorer thread got me thinking... would Ford not be smart to leverage the Explorers success and create a new Sport Trac? Could such a vehicle not fill the Ranger role and also add to Explorer sales numbers? Would an Explorer-based pickup be too close in size to an F-150, or would it slot in at the right size?
I think it would be far too expensive, to make and thus selling price too.


I believe that Ford will be paying close attention to the upcoming success of the Canyon/ Colorado twins but it still saddens me that Ford, GM, and Dodge gave Toyota this segment.
I saw the global Ranger in the UP of Michigan, 20 months ago (cold-weather testing). I'd be surprised if it doesn't come.
 

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I believe that Ford will be paying close attention to the upcoming success of the Canyon/ Colorado twins but it still saddens me that Ford, GM, and Dodge gave Toyota this segment.
I am sure they will be paying attention, although they are far out there, so any "upcoming success" will have to be compared against how they affect their full size truck sales. IOW, if big truck sales decreases are inversely proportional to smaller truck increases.....then why bother.
 

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Ideally compact pickup drivers would start a long legacy of loyal truck purchases by starting off with a company's compact pickup offering. Unfortunately Toyota although very successful in the compact pickup class can not seem to even buy full size truck buyers.
 
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