Many Issues Behind Bringing a New Ford Ranger to U.S.

Global-Ford-Ranger 2

GM created quite a stir in the midsize truck market by recently announcing that it will sell a new Chevrolet Colorado in the U.S., recently designed and built in Thailand. 

Oddly, no announcements have been made about a GMC sibling or exactly where in the U.S. the new truck will be built. Good guesses have been made about the GM plant in Wentzville, Mo., where the current GMC Savana and Chevy Express are being built, but no official statements have been made. With that said, some sources report there is a scheduled $380 million investment and retooling planned for the Missouri plant, according to the recent United Auto Workers contract agreements. 

The announcement of an all-new vehicle destined for a segment that’s been shrinking for more than a decade has some other Detroit manufacturers scratching their heads. When asked whether Ford is considering a return to the segment with a new Ranger, Doug Scott, Ford’s chief truck marketing guru, said, “We have been and will likely keep looking at that segment, assessing whether it’s time to make that investment, but there are a lot of questions that have to get answered first.”

Scott went on to describe a little history. “Several years ago, we all the saw the economy doing things we didn’t like, and resources shrank. With the limited resources, we had to decide where to invest — keep pushing to support F-150 and Super Duty where the sales still were, or invest in the midsize market, hoping it would come back,” he said.  

Clearly, Ford’s investment in revamping the entire powertrain lineup is helping to keep the company in the full-size pickup game, but Scott talked about other issues that still need to be settled to seriously consider the midsize-truck segment.  


“The three key factors at play to make a truck in that segment attractive,” Scott says, “seem to be cost (the truck would need to be inexpensive to make and sell), fuel economy (there needs to be solid separation from the full-size choice), and it needs to have some ‘cool’ factor.”   

Many PUTC readers will remember when this segment was selling almost 2 million vehicles per year, there were relatively few good-quality car choices that could meet these three criteria. Today, however, there are many more choices on the car side — VW Beetle, Chevy Spark, Chevy Cruze, Ford Focus, Nissan Versa, Honda Fit and Nissan Juke among them — with even more choices coming. Additionally, any pickups not made in the U.S. will get penalized with a "chicken tax" so simply importing a new Ranger from any of the three (Thailand, Argentina or South Africa) manufacturing facilities will not solve any problems.

(Editor's note: We've been told by some trade experts that there may be a special trade exemption with South Africa that could make it possible to import the new global Ranger without tax penalties, but the rules and regulations, as you might expect, are ridiculously complex and could create unneeded tensions if pursued.)

“Now that doesn’t mean there might not be an engine technology or manufacturing process that might not come along and change the game and reignite this segment, but for now we haven’t made any decisions,” Scott said.


note - ri·dicu·lous·ly

Ford is doing real well with its V6 Eco Boost engine in the F-150. Still there is an untapped truck segment that would love a mid-size truck that gets great fuel mileage. I like what I have seen in the Chevy and Ford mid-size trucks. Still I'm waiting to see what Ford/Chevy plan on doing with CNG and the full-size truck.

This looks nice. Way better looking that the Tacqiuto and Culo-rado!

If it would have to be imported from Africa -then forget it. Why would loyal Ford/American fans buy an African made Ford? It would defeat the purpose of sticking with Ford. Might as well buy a U.S. assembled Renault/Datsun Frontier or Toyoda Tacoma. A U.S. made Chevrolet Colorado would be the best choice.

Ford- Keep the Ranger American, for American buyers, or just keep it in Africa, Argentina, and Thailand. Do not waste your money (shipping/importing charges) or our time.

1) cost efficiency: doesn't global introduction give economies of scale?
2) fuel economy: diesel, done.
3) looks pretty cool to me. I would put a camper top, mud tires and a winch in short order. I'd have the envy of the deer camp.

I think this sums it up:
“Several years ago, we all the saw the economy doing things we didn’t like, and recourses shrank. With the limited resources, we had to decide where to invest — keep pushing to support F-150 and Super Duty where the sales still were

@Buy American if Ford had the resources, it would be doing exactly the same thing that GM is doing with the Colorado. Ford already imports the Ford Transit Connect and soon the Transit in CKD form from Turkey. The Transit will be assembled and finished in a factory in Kansas that already does the F150.

Mike Levine answers questions via twitter:

What happened to the one Ford plan?
ML: The new Ranger is bigger than the N.A. Ranger. Midsize truck sales continue to slow. F-150 V-6 gets 23 mpg.

I just want a diesel.
ML: Diesel adds big $$ to cost. Some days, I wish it was still 2007.

Australia is rubbing it in everyone's face here in America that they are getting the new Ranger, and not the US
ML: I'd love to see the new Ranger here but (my guess) is it would be too pricey vs F-150. Same problem as other midsize trucks.


My thoughts: GM is a bankrupt company that is still 27% owned by the US Government and 12% owned by the Candian Government. Ford is not going to copy what Govern't Motors is doing. Ford is the truck leader.!/mrlevine

i think the problem is that ford is afraid of the new ranger takes some sales from the f-150.

Why doesn't Ford just call it the F-100 in North America so it'll simply add to F-Series sales figures.

@jera I don't think so. They could call it F-100 and it would still be an "F-Series" I seem to remember a few years ago when they polled Ford Truck owners on the "F-100" concept and all those guys said it's gotta tow more than 5k and on and on so they abandoned it. I think they are crazy not to bring it here. At least Chevy has the guts to bring theirs. BUT they must know something we don't because if the people on here had their way every half ton would have a Diesel lol

ford will wait 2 years then copy gm like they always do truck leaders? haha fords the truck follower they follow gm the real truck leader

Read this: Pathetic! Who wants to copy these dumb-asses!

It is not about having guts by bringing this truck here. There is not profit, think about it!

GM is taking a risk, albeit not a good one at that!

Ford copied GM by entering truck building in the first place.

Good looking truck but I highly doubt we'll see it over here, unless it's made in North America. The new Ranger would be a similar price to an F-150, and what would you rather have? To make and sell that here Ford would have to cheapen it enough to offset the price difference. Ford would need to build this Ranger on a parts sharing assembly line with other Ford vehicles, like a Ford Escape or Ford for Honda, and others.

I like my 2009 4.0L Ranger but it would be perfect with an updated and not outdated Ford power plant and an extra 6 inches of extended cab space. Through in a full bench rear seat and add the new Escape interior...not asking for allot here Ford, just do it before my next truck is a Toyota...better yet I'll just get a GM and be done with it.

note: pur*sued

@Chevy Guy:

How do you support a statement like "haha fords the truck follower they follow gm the real truck leader"

...when Chevy is still running engines designed in (and more or less unchanged since) the 1990s or earlier (in the 4.3's case)?

I mean, the LS-based engines are great engines and all...very durable, powerful, and fairly light, and compared to other engines of the late '90s/early '00s they are very competetive, but you can't say GM is a market leader by any stretch.

And I say this as a Chevy owner.


Ford built thier first truck in 1903 chevy in 1918,so ford built a truck before chevy

@ fred

sorry I read the history wrong ford didn't start building factory trucks untill 1925,I miss read people started turning ford cars in 2 trucks in 1903,sorry bout that

I really like these Global Rangers. Ford is foolishly leaving money on the table by not setting up a factory to build and sell these here in America.

@StraitGT, It would automatically be a lot cheaper than the F150, even imported in CKD form Thailand. The downside is would take potential sales from Ford's current "cash cow" the F150 Manufacturing the F150 in North America (and that includes Mexico)supports many companies in North America . Ford cannot afford for anything to happen to that arrangement. Especially in these gloomy economic times.

A co-worker is getting 19 MPG real world in his new ecoboost 3.5. We want a small not mid size truck with a diesel that gets 30 mpg real world driving to work every day, and can pull the camper or boat on weekends. Yo Ford, is that too much to ask?

This is getting out of control.

@Jason, just trying to keep your head above water are just some of the problems of trying to manufacture Automobiles in the US.

Where it is made is only the half of it. This was for 100k hybrid cars for the wealthy that don't even get better mileage than a F-150. Not only that, when they ship here they will get a $7500 tax credit. Half billion here. Half billion there. This needs to stop.

the “cheap” base model starts at $96,895, with the full-zoot Eco Chic model going for a bargain $108,900).

What is the Department of Wasting Tax Payer Dollars Energy's excuse for this over-the-top extravagance? It runs partly on batteries, getting you 32 miles away from your garage before the turbocharged engine kicks in, delivering 20 miles to the gallon!

@ Chevy Guy

Hate to break it to you, but in a lot of ways Dodge has been more of an innovator in the truck field than either Ford or GM.

First factory 4x4 pickup: Dodge, 1946
Crew Cab pickup: International Harvester, 1957; Dodge 1963
Extended Cab pickup: Dodge, 1973
First mid-size pickup: Dodge, 1987
Turbodiesel option: Dodge, 1989 (other diesels at the time were naturally aspirated)
4-door extended cab: Dodge, 1998 (others used 3-door extended cabs)

Dodge was ahead of Ford and GM for all of these things. Granted, Dodge has never challenged the sales of either Ford or GM, but a lot of the features that are so common on trucks today were pioneered by Dodge.

The reason why Ford will not bring the global Ranger to NA has been explained clearly.
Why risk money(most likely borrowed) on something that still might not sell.
The other factors have been mentioned and debated multiple times on this site.
If fuel economy is too close to a full sized truck, it won't sell.
If cost is too close to a full sized truck, it won't sell.
If size is too close to a full sized truck, it won't sell.

Is Ford protecting their "goose that laid the golden egg"?
They'd be damned stupid not to.

@Luke - you forgot to mention that the Dodge brothers worked for Ford at one time.

I want to see a comparison test that compares North American fullsize trucks like the F-150 and Silverado to their European midsize counterparts. The test could consist of all the usual...

0-60 unloaded/loaded
1/4 mile unloaded/loaded
Braking 60-0 unloaded/loaded
7% Grade unloaded/loaded
16% Grade unloaded/loaded
Fuel Econmy Loop
Off Road Course

And then the editors can give their personal thoughts on how Midsize Euro Trucks compare to North American Fullsize Trucks. Because in all honesty I'm speculating that the only thing the Euro trucks have to offer over what we have in North America will be ''Very slight gains in fuel econmy'' and ''Slightly Smaller Size'', other than that I suspect they will cost just as much, and not perform any better if even as good.

I can see Fords logic in not wanting to spend money on something they aren't 100% sure will sell like hot cakes. But I will say this...Amongst all the rumors flowing that Ford is bringing back the F-100 project I would much rather see this truck or one built similer to this ''Maybe just a little smaller'' than a Transit Van with the back end loped off.

In some parts of the world they make sense and sell well because full size trucks don't fit on the street and aren't sold there. In America the compact has grown to nearly full size dimensions and thus people have opted for full sizers. GMis basically playing Russian Roulette with our money if it was their own it would not be bringing it over. For those complaining of mpg's should be looking at prius's because let's face it no one buys a truck solely for fuel economy. Personally, I "need" a truck vs. wanting and live with the lesser mpg. The whole wanting vs. needing is what got us in this mess were in now. People spent money they didn't have on things they didn't need and bought houses they couldn't afford but "wanted" and wham the glass house came crashing down and here we are. Times have changed and ford and ram are seeing the forest for the trees but gm isn't.

If your going to use the moronic point that Ford built trucks first then you can use the point that Ford didnt even make their own parts and the Dodge brothers made those for Ford :o Get back on track people and talk about the article and stop being idiots no one cars about your super fan boy-ism.

I like the red ranger pictured. I had those stupid bars I see on more and more trucks/concepts lately especially outside of N.A.

@moparman - I wasn't trying to start a fight between Ford and Dodge guys with my comment. Like you pointed out the Dodge brothers (or Dodge) made parts and worked for Ford.
The fanboi-ism and childish "you are copying me" stuff gets a bit old.
It always seems to be the GM guys that start that one.

I think Ford will take a "wait and watch" approach to all of this. There is a rumor that Ford will downsize the F150. Some say they will need to shave up to 1,000 lb to meet the future mpg rules.
The full sized F150 might by default become a midsized truck.
I like the looks of the Global Ranger and Colorado more than the Hilux and Tacoma.
It is nice to see stories about these trucks. If manufacturer's truly pay attention to these blogs, we might, in a round about way, be influencing future products.

Many issues brining a new FOREIGN built Ranger to the U.S.:

Yeah, it's called Toyota Tacoma!

I find it ridiculous that Ford and GM have to go to Thailand to design and build their new pickups and sell them into the U.S.!

I guess they cannot find many good workers and engineers in the U.S. anymore?

My favorite model Tacoma, built in San Antonio, TX, U.S.A. and designed at Calty in California, U.S.A.

Even in a down year Toyota can still turn solid profits, I think Ford is making excuses because their large shareholders want more "me money" to fill their fat pockets insteade of investing in this great nation!

@Nate M I suggested something similar to your post on the Sibling rivalry thread. What you will find surprising is the basic off road prowess of these Asian Pickups, not something you really test for in the US.
The other thing of interest is fuel consumption under load. I would suspect and going by numbers mentioned elsewhere the diesels are surprisingly frugal compared to the Ecoboost.
I suggest towing two identical 26ft 5th wheelers at 60mph then measuring the fuel consumption. All I can say is bring it on, it would rate the socks off the site. What Asian Pickups do fail at is being a SUV substitute
Nissan Navara towing a lightweight 26ft 5th Wheel.

@Robert Ryan

A small diesel would be nice in the North American trucks, but I don't think its really justifiable. Most 1/2 ton's out there are rarely used for any heavy towing...I admit I myself am guilty of this, I've only towed once with my 2011 F-150 FX4 5.0L and was a measly 3,000lbs...No where near its max capacity.

I'm sure that a small diesel would yeild better towing MPG than the an Ecoboost powered F-150, but a diesel would most likely add seven or eight thousand dollers to MSRP for a truck that majority of people won't use for heavy towing, So I think mostly people that would buy an F-150 diesel would be those who just want say ''yeah its a diesel''.

Even if Ford brought a small diesel to North America, I doubt it would be all that great after the EPA has its way with it. It'll most likely be so neuterd and expensive that there would be no real life beneift to buying it over the 5.0L or Ecoboost.

I think the Ford rep flat out stated Ford's reasons. The F150 offers more than the current midsized offerings in all areas and matches fuel economy. Why manufacture a truck that is less capable, smaller, and gets a negligible fuel mileage advantage? Ford want to lead the segment, not just bring over a "me too" truck like GM is. IMHO keep an eye on how the small Ecoboosts do for mileage. That will likely be your new Ranger power plant. Plan on seeing Focus like mileage or no new Ranger.

some funny comment ford do well whit ecoboost,,,to do well you need have more sales....wy is so hard to understand,,if gm and dodge get new engine and the sales dont change they dont do what the company offer you right now..the choice of engine...

what i don't understand is can you just not write with proper ENGLISH or do you just not want to, it is kinda hard to take someone serious if he cannot write properly

What's funny is the Ranger (which has not had a redesign in 15 or so years) is still out selling the Colorado. Superduty 37 said it best GM is playing with our money. Does one spend their own money, or somebody else's wiser?

I agree with Lou this global Ranger will probably be the next F150. With government fuel standards for trucks and $6 to $8 a gallon gasoline the truck manufactures will be shaving more weight off these trucks and using turbo charging, 8 speed automatic transmissions, and partial hybrid systems. The truck companies will still manufacture heavy duties for commercial use and for those who will do heavy towing, but these will become more expensive and more limited. Diesel will become more expensive as well and is not feasible for anything but heavy duty use. There will also be a demand for compact trucklike vehicles on car platforms that get 30 to 40 mpg. These compact trucklike vehicles would share components with there related cars and would be assembled on the same assembly lines to reduce production costs. This will be what Toyota will do if it releases a Scion compact pickup. Let's face it the days of cheap gas and high performance and high horsepower vehicles will be over for most consumers except those that can afford these as toys. Cars to most consumers have become like an appliance. Reliability, fuel economy, longevity, versitility, and safety are more important to most consumers on limited budgets than even styling. Most of the younger generation (late teens and early 30s) are more interested in tablet computers and I-phones than in autos or trucks, Middle age men including me are more interested in horsepower, size, and performance. Many of the younger generation are not even interested in learning to drive and are pushed by their parents to take driver's ed. My one niece was not interested in driving and was pushed to take driver's ed because my sister was tired of driving her and her younger brother everywhere. The automanufacturers I am sure are aware of this and will concentrate more on smaller vehicles packed with the latest technology such as hands free phone and internet and navigation systems. Most younger people cannot drive anywhere without a GPS system. Some of you middle age guys can argue on and on about towing, brand loyalty, performance, and etc. but to most of the younger generation vehicles are viewed as a consumer good such as an appliance. Bigger is better is not the mantra of Generation X and beyond, the mantra is more efficient packed with the latest technology. In the next 10 to 20 year the middle age readers of this blog will not be the consumers of trucks but will become more of the consumers of geriatric healthcare and health products. I am not trying to argue, I am just stating the facts.

@ Jeff
i agree i am a little older and see the next generation does not care about vehicles the way some of us older gentlemen do all they car about is it get them from point a to point b

If they can sell it in freaken THAILAND, why can't they do the same here?

Put in a small turbo diesel and that will solve the MPG issue.
Make it a hybrid or electric. That will solve the MPG issue.

If trucks like this can haul heavy artillery and a dozen or so Libyan fighters then it can do the job here in this country.

They don't need to go re-inventing the wheel. Tell the oil companies to bugger off and put in some basic turbo diesel with some Powerstroke or Cummins badging and the coolness factor will be there.

If Ford decides to bring the Ranger here it will likely have to be built here. Ford will no doubt make a profit on this truck and i'm not convinced that a 30K midsize truck cannot be profitable. That's just pure nonsense. If they can sell 50K of these a year then they will make money and a decent amount of it. the prehistoric current Ranger already sells more then that! Nissan makes money on selling 30K worth of Frontiers and they still produce them so u cannot tell me there is not profit to be had. Ford now has no smaller off road truck to sell. Just the giant F-150 which is nearly useless to trail with. The Ranger needs to be built here to fill the segment. The truck is already designed. Just need to retool a plant someplace. they won't redesign this truck for 10 yrs so what the hell, they will make their money back by then and more! Not every model Ford sells will bring in a billion dollars a year. Thats just not gonna happen. a little profit is better than none at built it already!

@Maxx right, Thailand sells Euro V compliant diesels in Thailand it self. The Place is a huge market for pickups. On the other hand Cummins was reported helping other US producers(CAT, Navistar?) overcome existing and forthcoming European diesel emission regulations. Something does not add up. The Euro regs are a default global ones outside the US and Japan

@Keith Ford is trialling the 2 Litre Ecoboost as a fuel efficient four for the 4,000lb Ford Falcon. Gets 300hp in one version. The problem is Ford Australia has the 4 Litre Falcon "Ecoboost "for the Falcon and Falcon Ute putting out 365/410hp and 380lbs/415lbs ft of torque respectively at 2000rpm. Diesels are everywhere and their variety is increasing. They are replacing hybrids (actually are overall less polluting) Electric cars? Range anxiety big factor here. More people looking at LPG, for (Cars, Pickups, Motorhomes) CNG for limited range delivery vehicles/ City buses and LNG for large trucks.

Pickups from Minivans? i.e. Ford Transit connect, would fly like a dodo here. Total non starter.

Ford, or Chevy, I will be interested in a pickup like this 1)extended cab 2) turbo-diesel 3) manual trans 5 speed or more 4) modest size---about like Nissan Frontier

I agree with you Edward but there is one more thing that truck must have and that's a FULL FRAME! After watching a guy in a Ridgeline nearly destroy his truck hauling pellets for his stove, I'm convinced that full frame trucks are the way to go..otherwise, are they really trucks? Or cars on their tippytoes?

@Jason, I agree that this needs to stop. It’s bad enough that we borrow money from foreign countries to give to foreign countries. Now we borrow from foreign countries to finance jobs in foreign countries. - SP

PS I'm not sure Lou said this Ranger was going to be the next F-150. It is not. What he said it is it could be getting a little smaller and lighter. Now that doesn't mean the F-150 is getting much smaller overall like the Ranger. It means making it more aerodynamic, shaving a little hear and there, making the frame lighter but stronger, smaller engines, etc. The overall size of the truck will be about the same. The Ranger it will never be at least not in 2014.

Just today I saw an old Isuzu regular cab long bed...I need to see a long bed regular cab small truck! No freaking wonder the midsize/compact truck market is crashing and burning! I don't need a full-size to go to Home Depot and get a replacement door for the house, let alone go to the freaking mall (like I go to the freaking mall - )! DANG!! But that's what I see these big rigs do is CRAWL MALLS! Anyway, good luck cleaning the stench and crap out the Barbie Transit Connect van!

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