After almost 30 years, Ford Ranger production will end Dec. 22, according to the United Auto Workers 879’s June-August newsletter. Chapter 879 covers factory workers at Ford's Twin Cities assembly plant where the Ranger is built.
"We are scheduled to run until December 22, 2011. The Leadership of Twin Cities Assembly Plant and its members thanked the UAW and Plant leaderships’ for their support during these difficult times for our plant," said the newsletter.
The 1983 Ford Ranger — which started production in January 1982 — was a replacement for the Ford Courier, which was based on the imported Mazda B-Series small truck. Ford wanted a scaled-down, lighter version of its full-size F-Series pickups that could work hard, get good gas mileage and compete head-to-head against small Japanese trucks such as the Datsun and Toyota pickups, and the U.S.-built Chevrolet and GMC S-Series pickups from GM.
More than 7 million Rangers have been built during its lifetime.
Ford hasn't announced a replacement for the U.S.-built Ranger. Instead, the Ford F-150 with its new 3.7-liter V-6 is the most direct replacement. However, an all-new Ford Ranger for global markets outside North America goes on sale later this year.