Last Ford Ranger Off the Line: Photos


We reported last week that the final Ford Ranger rolled off the line at the Twin Cities Assembly Plant, and now we have a few bittersweet photos of the white Sport model built around 3 p.m. Friday, Dec. 16. It will be delivered to Orkin Pest Control in several weeks. 

The 86-year-old plant along the banks of the Mississippi River will displace about 800 workers. With mixed emotions, a crowd spontaneously gathered and followed the last Ranger down the line, finally applauding when it reached the end. 

Ford plans to sell a new version of the Ranger outside the U.S., but the truck will be built in Thailand, South Africa and South America.

The company plans to begin dismantling the plant by moving out any equipment that can be used in other Ford facilities and conducting environmental testing on the 125-acre site. Demolition is expected to start in a few months and last until 2014.

Marcey Evans, a spokeswoman for Ford, said about two-thirds of the employees will have an opportunity to transfer to another Ford location, most likely assembly plants in Chicago or Louisville, Ky., which are adding thousands of jobs.



Sad to see it go. It was a great little truck. Hopefully we get something like it, or even better, in the future.

I wish they made a crew cab version. Never was a fan of the sport trac.

Why is Ford smashing the factory instead of selling it?

@PK they did, but it was only sold in Mexico, they also made a diesel version too.


The factory is 86 years old. It's not laid out to handle the large automated equipment and just-in-time part inventory systems for a modern assembly line.


No more rump ranger??? Sad sad sad. Sad for the workers at the plant. I guess if anyone wants to buy a ford ranger in the future they will have to go to Thailand, South Africa and South America to buy one. or you can buy a 2013 Chevy Colorado that will be available in 2012. Yep, GM and Chevrolet will offer a midsize truck to U.S. customers and ford will NOT offer U.S. consumers a midsize truck.

Ford girly men, don't despair, once you drive GM'S new Chevy Colorado you won't even miss the old ford rump ranger. GM wins AGAIN and ford? well there not even in the game anymore.

A guess maybe, in time Ford builds an up to date plant in its place and introduces the next gen Ranger. Hmmmm

Look at the plant itself. Look at the background in those two pictures above. Then look at the several pictures of the Dearborn plant for the F150. What a contrast.

But what about the ford tunnels under the plant? Demolition will probably hide those forever.

Now only time will tell if ranger buyers switch to the F-series or go elsewhere.....

Meanwhile, GM's retooling their Wentzville, MO. plant to build the new Colorado/Canyon........

It would be funny if the Ranger won the small truck shoutout. (Not as funny as if the Ridgeline won).

A marketing move for sure (dropping the ranger) but a sad once considering the potential of a high MPG compact truck as a replacement. F-150 sales might increase slightly, but I'm sure additional F-150 sales, coupled with lower overhead cost, ends up justifying the end of the ranger (for Ford at least, certainly not for the workers who are out of a job). Sorry to all those whose lives are likely a bit overturned at the moment, hope for the best for all of you.

@Michigan Bob When someone at Chevy loses a job, or they close a plant, I guess we'll be sure to return the favor and badmouth the product the workers had spent so much of their lives building. Even if you don't like the ranger, which you obviously don't, grow up a bit. There are more mature ways of stating the obvious fact that GM is making a better decision with their compact/midsize truck.

Perhaps they could have auctioned the last ranger off and donated the proceeds, or donated it to a charity. Although as others have said, I guess a life as a work truck is fitting.

i am so sorry Ford guys i am going to change now i would like to tip my hat to Ford for all the GREAT things they have done in the past few years, i just love there new drive trains and so forth, i love their manly man step, i just realize GM is so fake with all the problems they have been bailout, bankrupt, just to name a few sorry Ford guys you guys are so lucky with your new Ford trucks

I wish Ford would reconsider.

Not a Ford fan,but feel sorry for the people who are losing their jobs,always a kicker before Christmas when companies close down because of end of year...

The Ranger was really out dated,unlike the Dodge Dakota that was just too expensive ! These decisions were done to boost sales of the 1/2 ton trucks.It would be funny if the GM half ton trucks drop to nothing and the Colorado/Canyon sales increase,making Dodge Ram take on the F-150,as GM buyers switch to the small truck,GM guys watch what you wish for,same with Ford guys watch the next F-150 may be a small truck,keep saying how much you love the Ranger ,Ford may just ditch the F-150 and have the Euro Ranger take its place as they did with the Econoline,having a Euro van take its place.


Ford keeps shipping more jobs and cash overseas, makes you wonder...

I feel bad for the workers However, Ford can just put those folks to work building that many more F-150's. I was never a Ranger guy so I'm not real sad over it. I just like fullsize trucks better. Both my F-150 and Super Duty never fail. I laugh at Chevrolet's attempt to capture this market with that butt ugly Colorado they have coming. Let me guess, they'll even have a 'GMC' version of it. LOL.. How pathetic and redundant does a company have to be to NEED 2 different trucks. I'll laugh even harder when the new Silverado shows up.

Ford keeps shipping more jobs and cash overseas, makes you wonder...

Posted by: oxi | Dec 19, 2011 4:22:08 PM

It makes one wonder indeed. And the nieve American public thinks that Ford cares about each and every one of them and is the only decent automaker on the face of the earth.

@MERRY CHRISTMAS !! - some great comments. I agree that we may see the F150 shrink to "global" size or the global Ranger may become the F150. I think a F100 is more likely.
I agree that if the Colorado turns out to be a 9/10 size success story for GM that it will be at the expense of the Silverado and Sierra sales.
GMC will have its truck sales split between the 3 brands. I believe that will be the most likely scenario.
I don't see GMC picking up a large number of former Ranger owners. The Ranger was the smallest and most economical truck of the bunch. The Colorado will most likely be out of the price range or size range for most former Ranger owners. I see loyal Ford brand guys going to a F150, or small Ford SUV or CUV. A percentage will jump ship to the competition, I suspect Toyota and Nissan to be the biggest benefactors. Colorado will get the nationalistic types who will only own a truck with an American head office.
Merry Christmas to you, and to all of the staff and bloggers at PUTC.

@Oxi - got tired of using the name George, or Jake?
You get this name from the TV series?

- some great comments. I agree that we may see the F150 shrink to "global" size or the global Ranger may become the F150.

You wish. It's never going to happen. You don't get the F-150 if you think it should shrink to the Ranger size.

"may just ditch the F-150 and have the Euro Ranger take its place "

Yeah, let's ditch a truck that sells 500K+ every year at a very good profit level to replace it with a truck that sells 50k at a much small profit.


I can't believe how dumb all of you Ford fairies are especially this Tim guy. Ford builds plenty of their own garbage in Mexico including that POS peterstroke diesel. Would you like chalupa to go with it and a side of refried beans??!
Oh, and when Ford finally releases an all new Super Dooty I will laugh too. I think 13 years is long enough! talk about beating a dead horse. The Ford guys will come back with, oh but it is the best selling. Again, this shows you how dumb ford people are. They kept buying that POS peterstroke time bomb (6.0 and 6.4) by the truckload. I believe that I would have dropped my hard earned coin on a Cummins or Duramax first. Funny how the Ford girlies laugh at the GM fans for being so brand loyal that they are blind. Like the pot calling the kettle black if you ask me!!!!!!!!

That ranger above looks just like my neighbors 1992 model, defiantly hasn't changed much.

Allan Mulally has said his goal for the company has been to make it profitable, not sell cars. That is one reason incentives are seemingly not as big as they were 5 or so years ago.

I would have bought a ranger, if it was the 4 door diesel that they sold to every one else but Americans.

Sad to see this beautiful little truck roll off the line all by itself.
As with everthing else these days the Ranger had to be loaded up with a big thirsty 4.0l V6 to get a nicely equiped 4X4.
I remember back in the 80`s I could get a Lariat Ranger 4X4 two tone paint manual locking hubs manual transmission and a four cylinder engine and it had good mileage.
Everyone needs 200+ HP these days.
Thats what killed the compact truck.

Finally. This dinosaur should be gone 12 years ago.
It doesn't look like a truck from 21 century, even Tata Xenon is a better truck.

A sad day for TCAP. I toured the plant in 2002 and was impressed- cleaner and seemingly better organized that the jet engine make I worked for two decades before. I thought (and still do) the Ranger had plenty of life left in it. A few improvements (a modern fuel efficient V-6 for one and the crew cab sold elsewhere for another) and some decent promotion and think the Ranger could have easily gone back to six figure sales. Water under the bridge I reckon but at any rate the Ranger had a great run.

@Jason -
I did not say the F150 will shrink to the size of the Ranger. I said ". I agree that we may see the F150 shrink to "global" size or the global Ranger may become the F150."
"w-e- m-a-y- s-e-e" is what I said.
The looming mpg standards may force drastic revisions in the full sized trucks we now drive. The even more pressing issue will be rising fuel prices. Developing countries like China have little fuel of their own. They do not have the same levels of debt that we do in NA. They can and will pay top dollar for fuel. We cannot, unless we borrow more money.
Those 2 factors could cause the F150 to shrink in size. (Please note the word "could).
I also said that an F100 would be more likely.

There are rumors floating around that the F150 will shrink and also go on a diet of light weight materials. Magnesium is one metal mentioned. There are rumors of a drastic change away from tradtional body on frame architecture. We might see monocoque chassis design.
If fuel climbs to European price levels, the full sized truck market will implode. Look at what happened when the fuel prices spiked a few years ago. People started off loading pickups. They had a hard time selling some of the larger displacements.

In 1995 I bought a Ranger, My uncle bought an S-10. In '99 my uncle traded his S-10 for a new S-10 because the cab rattled so bad. In 2003 my uncle traded in his S-10 for a Blazer because the doors on the S-10 were sagging and the dash rattled. In 2009 I picked-him up from the Chevy dealer where his Blazer was being serviced and the seats were being changed-out due to quality issues. He remarked " gosh your new Ranger sure is quiet, I can see why you like them" When he found out that this was the same 1995 Ranger, 160K miles later, he said " lets go look at a new Ford pick-up while we are waiting. He has been in his F-150 ever since.
I would trade in my Ranger if it would ever quit!
It has been a great ride little truck, Via con Dios!!

That is interesting. Chevy didn't make a Blazer in 2003.

@oxi: I think you missed our recent press release where we committed to add 12,000 hourly jobs in U.S. manufacturing facilities by 2015, including in-sourcing from Mexico, China and Japan.

The "Grey Nomads" only hope that happens after they get their F250-F450's to tow their large Caravans and 5th Wheelers around the blacktop near Australia's Coastal Cities. Hopefully in RHD and much reduced prices.

@Merry Christmas!!: I think Ram coulda been right there if they would have made the Dakota crew with the longer club cab bed. The 5'4" bed is way too small. And had they stuck the Hemi in there, a little work on shocks, and as you noted, controlled expense, like an Express version, a proper six speed, (or eight now) and yes, the coils have a place there, fix up a few minor but important things, they would have a 4x4 22-23 mpg (maybe more?) truck. Too worried about the 1500,

a little 4banger Ranger the only non mopar I have ever owned that I didnt hate R.I.P Ranger at least you never go oversized like the Dakota Im sure by the decades end well see a new small Ford truck and it will sell like hotcakes being 100% new and bring back some people nostalgic feeling of these little workers

@Tom With a Ranger - Ford Ranger diesel and crewcab was sold in Brazil and produced in Argentina, not only in Mexico. It uses a 3.0 Power Stroke 163cv @3800rpm and 38,7kgfm (270lb-ft) @1600rpm of torque.

@ Earl The Chevy Blazer based on the S-10 was made up to 2005.

Ford is crazy for not selling the new global Ranger here in the USA! Poor decision Ford!

My take on this......... Glad t o see it go, not gonna miss it, never will.

It is always a sad moment when a great product is discontinued or a US factory is closed. When the Moraine, Ohio plant that made Chevy Trailblazers was closed 3 years ago before Christmas that was sad too. The local economy in Dayton, Ohio is still suffering from GM and its suppliers pulling their plants out along with NCR headquarters moving to suburban Atlanta. Yes these workers at the Ranger plant knew about this closure and yes they were offered other jobs in Louisville and Chicago but it is still a hard pill to swallow and the local economy will suffer plenty. Also the added burden of trying to sell your house and move in this economy if you are one of these dislocated workers. Even if you don't like Fords or Rangers you should not wish this upon anyone. I realize this was Fords business decision but this was a great product that could have been updated and yes a crewcab version would have been simple enough (look at the S-10 crewcab version in 2002). Ford might get my business if they downsize the current F-150 to the size of a global Ranger but they are dreaming if they think that I want a fullsize truck the size of their current F-150 and if they think all Ranger customers will switch to large F-150s, Transits, or Focuses. Ford management is not God and they can make mistakes too. I think they made a big mistake in leaving the midsize truck market but only time will tell. This is my opinion and this is not a comment meant to bash Ford. Lou, I think it would be poetic justic if Ranger won the shootout and proved Ford wrong and all the other critics wrong. I am cheering for the Ranger. Go Ranger!!


Well said, Jason. I agree for the most part...

Lou's background is in minivans and Rangers...

That is why he wants a smaller F150!

@Jay & @Jason--I doubt if Lou is wishing for a smaller F-150s, Lou owns a larger F-150 and likes it. Lou is stating the obvious which if one is not paying attention to the world demand and price for Oil and the growing economies of China and India then you are unaware of whats going on in the World. We as a nation and as a continent cannot expect to maintain the same standard of living and expect no changes in our consumption patterns. It is doubtful that the higher fuel standards for trucks will be reversed and these standards will start being implemented by 2015 whether you or I like it or not. You are probably too young or possible you were not born yet to remember the first downsizing of full size and intermediate autos that took place in the late 70s in response to higher fuel standards and the first Arab Oil Embargo and the Iranian Hostage Crisis. I remember full size car buyers saying they would never buy any of the downsized cars which most of them did eventually. You will still see the heavy duty trucks but there is only so much a manufacturer can do with transmissions and engines. They have to look at weight and size which means more plastics and lighter materials such as magnesium, alumninum, and carbon fibers and the physical size and aerodynamics of the truck. When these new downsized half tons hit the market there will be a huge demand for the older full size trucks but over time the truck buyer will accept the new downsize trucks because of their availability and soaring fuel prices. There will be some truck owners that keep their older larger trucks and not buy these newer trucks but over time this will change too. When you start paying European prices for fuel you might change your opinion or you might save your old full size for towing and heavier duty and drive a smaller more fuel efficient truck the rest of the time. Never say never. I don't think we will all be driving Smart Cars but we definitely will see some changes in the future.

If he doesn't want a smaller F-150, he sure has a funny way of showing it. If you take a look at the spy shots of the 2014 Silverado, you will see the truck has gotten much bigger, not smaller. Ford will not be the first to down-size a best seller. "We as a nation and as a continent cannot expect to maintain the same standard of living..." You sound like Obama. The Obama administration excuses for failing at just about everything are beginning to sound more and more like the old Soviet Union’s excuses for perpetual crop failures and food shortages. Not the result of government control and collective farming, but rather “seventy consecutive years of unusually bad weather.”

@Mike Levine - nice of you to still check in and drop a line now and then. Thanks

@Jason-Let's not get political. You are still young and there is plenty of time left for you to see that things change. George W was for cleaner standards on diesels and for more fuel efficiency. The EPA and the first fuel standards were established under President Richard M. Nixon who was a Republican. Even if Obama does not get re-elected and we get a Republican we will still see changes. We can drill more and produce more oil but we cannot force China or India to use less energy. China will pay more for energy and they are willing to do what ever it takes to get the oil. If you want cheap and plentiful energy with less government regulation I suggest you build a time machine and go back 50 years. I do not like or agree with all changes but when you get older you learn to pick and choose your battles. It is a cop out to accuse someone of being a Socialist or Communist. Ask your self a 100 years from now will any of this matter.

@Lou--I guess according to Jason we are either both Socialist or Communist for expressing that F-150s might get downsized due to new fuel standards and the World demand for Oil. Welcome Comrade.

@Mike Levine--Nice to hear from you. Look forward to hearing from you in the future.

You're the one who made this political. BTW, Republican does not equal conservative. Gas prices will go down if we get a real energy policy. Getting back on topic, I simply stated Ford was not going to replace a F-150 that sells 500k a year with huge profits with a Ranger that sells 50k at a much less profit. Then you started in with your politics. To think otherwise is foolish and shows that one just does NOT uderstand the truck market or core truck buyers. Lou has repeatedly said the F-150 will be replaced by the global Ranger. His last two trucks were a Chevy mini van and a compact Ranger pickup. Lou is a nice guy but he does not understand the full-size truck market.

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