Last Ford Ranger Off the Line: Photos

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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.

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Comments

Mike Levine and Ford,
If your lisitening and want to know what core truck buyers want, just listen to Lou who wants to REPLACE the #1 selling F-150 with a Ranger and just do the opposite.

Any new Ranger or smaller F-150 should be IN ADDITION to the F-150.

"the global Ranger may become the F150..." - Lou

Ford got a good laugh after hearing that one.

@Jason-I think Lou understands the truck market just fine. We will all see what the future brings but I think you are looking for an argument where one does not exist. I don't think that Lou is looking forward to downsize F-150s and as for me I really don't care what Ford does. Ford, GM, Chrysler, Toyota and the rest will do what they think is best and will comply with whatever government standards are out there as they have been doing for the past 50 plus years. The consumer will buy what truck is out there that best meets their needs whether this is small, medium, large, or heavy duty. For most of us we will compromise and buy the closest thing to what we want or need. Why don't you ask Lou why he bought a F-150 crewcab? I think you are making a mountain out of a mole hill. I understand the truck market just fine. If Ford downsizes the F-150s then there will be some truck buyers that will trade up to F-250s and F-350s and there will be those that buy a smaller F-150s. You might have to pay a little more but there will always be another option available. Fuel standards are nothing new just additional fuel standards on trucks are new. Manufacturers will continue to tweek the engines and transmissions to get more efficiency as well as use alternative materials. Downsizing is just one of many options and the downsizing will not be that dramatic, otherwise they would lose customers. The 2014 Silverado does not look that different from the current Silverado. Any major skin changes will be phased in 2015 and after and manufacturers are all well aware of consequences of making too drastic changes, but they also are aware of the new fuel mandates. Whatever they do we will all find the product that is right for us. I as a consumer really don't care what Ford, GM, etc will do because I will find a product that I like without loyalty to any individual manufacturer. I can live just as easily with a Toyota or Nissan as a Ford. I can shave with a non-Gillette manual razor just as easily as with a Fuson Gillette and spend a lot less. Ranger is a good truck and it could have sold more but Ford is going to do what Ford thinks is best and I as a consumer am going to buy what fits my needs best regardless of what Ford does. Life goes on. End of discussion.

About time. That is one of the worst trucks EVER, from transmission failure to a front end that sounds like is going to fall apart and the list goes one................ They should close Ford for ever. Explore is a pice of crap, focus just read the name is ment to do just that FOC-US, and all the recalls that Ford has to deal with - wheels that can fall (fusion), airbags that can explode fuel tanks can fall (f 150), accelerate by accident ( freestyle) is just out of these world. I still dont know how people buy Ford.

@Earl
Goof ball...Did you ever stop to think it was a pre-owned Blazer! He didn't say it was new...I had a 96 S10...Traded it in 6 months later cause the interior plastic was breaking up around me and it was extremely underpowered...not the trucks fault though...The engineers put as much thought into the S10 as they did the Cavalier or the early 90's Silverado's...

oxi,
Toyota built that gigantic plant in Texas because they thought they could leverage their sedan dominance into the truck market. It was bust! And now they build Sequoias, Tacomas and 4Runners there just to keep the lights on. Have you driven a F-150 lately? I don't understand why you hate full-size trucks so much. The F-150 is 10x's better than a Tacoma and nearly the same size.

"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." - Jason

This. These trucks are getting bigger and better than ever believe it or not.

Also there are lot smarter ways to get better mileage than making the cab and box smaller. Making the truck smaller is caveman thinking.

Think outside the box, folks.

@Mike Levine,
US Ford thinks the new Global Ranger, will be the best selling vehicle for Ford Australia. I have a strong feeling they have made another strategic blunder. The slightly updated Ford Territory CUV based on the Ford Falcon, is selling as fast as they can make them or it appears to be. Ford should have updated it several years ago, but they did not. The European Mondeo and Fiesta are going nowhere and I can suggest the replacement for the Escape will also flounder.

Getting back on topic. Congratulations Ford Ranger on 30 years of success and good service to your many loyal fans. You will be missed but not forgotten.

(this comment is not meant to be an anti Ford comment and is not an editorial about full sized F-150s nor should it be interpreted as such even though some Ford loyalist will take offense to any positive comment made about Ranger or any competitor's product).

By cashing out of the dying compact truck market after milking the Ranger for all its worth, Ford stands to walk away billions ahead. Toyota, GM or whom ever can enjoy taking a loss while cannibalizing their 1/2 tons.

@Jeff - thanks. I agree with all that you have said.

@Jason & Jay -
I have never said that Ford will downsize the F150, nor have I said I wanted a downsized F150. I looked at all the trucks, including compacts. A full sized truck is what met my wants/needs therefore I purchased one.
Yes, I owned a Ranger Extended cab, I got rid of it because it was too small. I had a 3/4 ton regular cab long box 4x4 before the Ranger Ext. Cab. I got rid of it because it was 15 years old and dying. I had it since brand new.
I tried a Safari van because it was a good deal, and I wanted to see if I could get by without a truck. It gave me the passenger capacity and cargo capacity (if I took the seats out) but that was messy and a nuisance. It proved to me that a SUV or CUV would also be out of the question.
I do not buy on ideology, and I'm too old to buy on ego. I buy what I think is the best choice for my family.
I have said before that Ford will not bring the current global Ranger to NA because it is too close to the F150 in size, capacity, and price. Ford will not risk hurting the golden goose that is the F series line. The only business case I can see for the global Ranger is if it is brought in and Ford minimizes overlap. There are already rumors floating around that say that Ford may shrink the F150 and use light weight metals and radically different chassis design. If fuel gets to 10 dollars a gallon (US or Imperial), it will be a matter of time before the full sized 1/2 tons shrink, or loose power in trade for economy.
I am not naive.
The F150 may shrink, or it may become the global Ranger. (Key word is "MAY").
I don't care if it does.
I'll buy what I need.
It is what it is.

Do I understand the truck market ?
Truck guys are demographically conservative, and traditional. Change is not well accepted.
Guys (trolls usually) will complain that Ford or Chev or Ram haven't changed design that much. That is done on purpose.
Evolution, not revolution.
That is truck design mantra.
The 2007 and current Tundra was by all definitions - all new.
It hasn't done all that well. Add in the "foreign" label on top of "new" design and it was a recipe for disaster for Toyota. The Tundra is the outsider at the gates of the "old boys club".
The 1994 dodge Ram was all new. I knew a lot of guys that did not like it when it first come out. Ram has slowly evolved that truck into one of the (if not the best) looking trucks on the market.
Look at the number of Chevy Silverado guys that are mad at GMC for the Sierra. They feel that GM has abandoned them. They resent the fact that Sierra has become the high end truck of choice for GMC. If guys were not conservative and "traditional" that wouldn't matter.
Look at the number of guys (myself included) that are wary of the EB 3.5.
Change that is good, is not universally accepted because it is change.
Reason - conservatism and tradition.
What about the Honda Ridgeline?
By definition a truck. It has a tailgate, and flat load floor. Look how often that truck is ridiculed and maligned on this site. Unibody, unorthodox shape, front/all wheel drive, and dare I say Japanese branded. It is the most unorthodox and un-conventional truck out there. It doesn't sell too well.
Reason - conservatism and tradition.

I do not stop looking at the truck market or any market once I hit the shores of the Pacific ocean, or Atlantic ocean. I guess I could also throw in the Rio Grande and the Arctic circle to that list. Or should I be more isolated and stop at the 49 th parallel?

Really sad to see this one go. Ford finally purged their line up of the Ranger and the Crown Vic. Ive always had a soft spot for the Ranger. I love its simplicity and its toughness. Its sad to see the midsize pickup loosing ground. The Ranger is such an iconic car, taking light loads and some times really heavy ones all over the USA. Im still not intrested in the Colorado, just dont like GM and its new pickup. Ford can really bulid a truck and i dont see why the Ranger from overseas platform cant be the base of the next Ranger. For could use the 3.7 300hp V6, drop a supercrew cab on it, and give it just a few features so it didnt step on the F-150s feet. Im seeing a 25MPG 4x4 for 25k that can haul the family and tow 5.5k.

I just decided that Im a troll and I love Ford. It sucks that the ranger is going bye bye. I also would like to say that the Chevy 5.3 sucks A$$.

Stop impersonating Michigan Bob you imposter. MB would never be a turncoat. Some of you need to grow up and respect Michigan Bob and his opinions,.

BOB,

As much time as you spend typing the worthless jibberish we have to weed thru...you must be doing it on work time instead of working like the rest of us hardworking americans.

Give us all a break and just go away.....Please!


THE FORD EGO BOOST ENGINE IS A TICKING TIME BOMB. BEWARE IS ALL I CAN SAY.

THE CRAPTOR IS JUNK ALSO. THE FRAME IS AS RIGID AS A WET NOODLE.

Excuse me I meant 1994 Dodge not 2004.

Rest in peace, mighty Ranger -- you'll not be forgotten!

I predict Ford will build, and like hotcakes, sell a new small truck in the future.

It will be better in every way than the POS coming from the competition in '12. Especially better because it comes from a company that wasn't forced by the Bammy administration to take shares from good stockholders and give them to union workers in exchange for votes!

I have had several Rangers in the past and have no problems with them. It is the right size. My only complaint was that the brakes were a little weak. I will not buy a F-150 as it is larger than what we want. So long Ford, hello Toyota or Nissan.

Farewell, trusty old friend! You (Ranger) were; a sales leader, an innovator, and the benchmark for many years.

FORD RANGER - TRUE COMPACT TRUCK!

It never changed, unlike other goofball truck makers.

I bought a new 08 Ranger Sport and only owned it for one year. I found three Major issues. 1, Gas guzzling 3ltr V6. Many full size pickups rate better mileage.2, The most uncomfortable vehicule Ive ever owned. Darn near broke my back and 3, around 60 thousand klms it started to have transmission issues. Having to come to a complete stop before it would shiftdown into 1st gear and slipping between and 3rd.
I dumped it and, to this day, It`s one of the BEST moves I`ve made.

@Canuck1--Sorry to hear your bad luck with your Ranger. Those Ranger owners I know with the 4 cylinders with 5 speeds love them. I almost bought a 4 cylinder with a 5 speed Ranger till GM sent me a $1,500 rebate to use on the purchase of an S-10 along with using $3,000 of cash back from my GM Master Card and a $750 rebate from a VISA card and $1,700 off sticker. That was the only reason I didn't buy the Ranger at that time. Later I heard of fuel injection problems with the V-6s in the S-10s. I never have had any problems with the 2.2 4 cylinder in 13 years. The other thing was the S-10 had a steel timing chain and the Ranger had a timing belt but that alone was not a deal braker. I would have been very happy with the Ranger but I do not regret buying the S-10.

@Lou thanks. Truck buyers are typically more conservative. What you are use to plays a major role in what you buy. Loyalty is the strongest among truck buyers especially large truck buyers. Toyota has a learning curve on the Tundra because whether it is true or not the Tundra is perceived by many truck owners to be a lesser truck but Tacoma is considered to be the best of the smaller trucks. Resistance to change as you well stated was exemplified by the introduction of the 1994 Dodge Ram. It was a while before most truck owners warmed up to it. Ford F-150 is perceived to be all new although there is very little change except for grills and trim and the new Ecotech V-6. Chevy has a little newer design (2007) but with no trim changes and no new engines it is perceived to be outdated. Any downsizing to full size will be more gradual without any major skin changes.

The reason I am a little more resistant to 50k Raptors as I perceive them to be overpriced and not a good value. When I say this it is not to insult @Buy America or @Denver Mike but this is coming from my upbringing that taught me to live below my means and to pay cash for my vehicles and to keep them at least 10 years. I apologize if I was to critical but it is hardwired into me. Merry Christmas too all.

@Jeff,
I think Toyota missed the mark after the intial intoduction of the Tundra by not releasing a full range of pickups. That is why it is perceived as a lesser pickup. The very conservative attitudes of the buyers is a major impediment for any Asian maker doing well in this segment in the US/Canada.
If I was Toyota I would drop the Tundra as it does not sell well in its intended market and obviously from Toyota's point of view does not have much of a future outside NA.
Toyota should have instead put all of those resources into Hino. which by comparison has a done a lot better.

@Robert Ryan-I think you are probably right but Toyota was looking at grabbing the brass ring of the full size market and just missed it. The people I know that have Tundras really like them and I am sure they are a good product despite earlier problems with frames but perception can be more important than the actual quality. I doubt they will drop the Tundra but I agree with you they should cut their loses and put their resources on other products. The Tacoma is overdue for a redesign and for some more efficient drivetrains. Again we will see.

@Robert Ryan - correct. I know a large number of people with Tundra's. They will not go back to a NA badged truck. I know 2 guys that went back to a domestic badged truck only because they needed a 1 ton truck for work. I see a large number of Hino trucks. Toyota could spin off the Tundra under Hino. It could then be used as the basis for a chassis cab 1 ton and larger truck. That would help Toyota and Hino expand their truck base.

@Lou,
A much better strategy and the Tundra would been included in Hino's commercial truck lineup instead of being a standalone entity, bit like GMC. The Tacoma would be part of the Toyota lineup.

You naysayers amaze me. There were some American auto execs in the mid 70's that laughed and said, "Americans will never buy one of those (small Jap) trucks". The small truck sales were monumental in establishing Toyota and Datsun (Nissan) in the USA. With gas prices remaining at $3.00+ in the US, SOMEONE will produce a compact truck again. This time, both the Americans and Japanese might get caught off-guard by the Koreans.

Good riddance!.... It won't be missed.

@SLOride,

Um, Working at a 7-eleven as a part time cashier isnt considered a "hard working" American..

Sad to see this little truck go away so many people do not want to drive around or have room for a big full size half ton truck, There is a market for a small four cyclinder stick shift truck that gets good gas milage. I had a basic crank windows five spped manual no AC Ford Ranger back in the late 80's that was a great dependable little truck... yes you had to get in and floor it to get anywhere but.... it got great gas milage and it never failed me. Why do the automakers have to sell fully loaded trucks now? Anyway this last truck marks a era of many of those little trucks sold it should go in the Henry Ford Mesuem as a mark in Ford's history, they could park it along side the first Ford Escort that was ever built.

@Tom-I agree that there is still a market for a good inexpensive 4 cylinder with manual transmission compact pickup. Also I think that one of the last of these Rangers should go to the Henry Ford museum along with an 1983 fully restored copy with a tribute to the contribution that Ranger made to the American truck market. I have a feeling that the Chinese or the Koreans might decide to fill this void, but I could be wrong.

@Mike-I agree I remember the early Datsun and Toyota trucks and cars were looked down upon and ridiculed. It took an Arab Oil Embargo and the Iranian crisis to change that attitude and the bullet proof reliablity of those Japanese vehicles. Big US corporations work in an Ivory Tower and send decrees out which the consumer does not always obey. Look at Steve Jobs who created Apple and used Xerox's mouse and PC technology. The big wigs at Xerox scoffed at the idea of a personal computer that their own development team develope. Xerox was in the copy machine business not in the consumer computer business.

It's about time! I would say about 10 years too late! I've read some of you saying you're sad for the workers of that plant. Look at the pictures! They're smiling and applauding! They're happy to see this dinosaur finally disappear from their lives. And also they're happy because they're finally free of Furd. No more nighmares for them!!!

I dont understand this . I know the full size trucks get the same mileage as the ranger. Mileage is not the reason I like the small truck, It is because I like small trucks, This is a bad choice by Ford. is it just me that sees hundreds of these Rangers on the road everyday,. I have a 94 Toyota 4x4 that is completely rotted on the frame. I had to park it with only 130k miles on it. So I had to find something to drive, I found a 93 ranger for $1,500. It has a v6 and has 195k on it and the frame is rust free. The whole truck is in a lot better shape than my Toy. I really hate to see this mistake by Ford. Very bad Idea.

this is a horrible joke....unless the reps miraculously take the white house back we are headed for high gas prices and maybe even lines....I dream of the "mini" pickup" old days (ie original toyotas, datsuns, mitsubishisi, s-10s and, yes Rangers.)...Ford is blowing it here...For everyone that pulls a boat or horse-trailer there are about a dozen of us that never need the power, use out trucks for light duty and would like to save on gas mileage....those "rice burners" (as the red necks like to call them) will be out again within a few years with trucks that have ENOUGH power and get gas mileage in the 20s and cost under 14K, and Ford will wonder why no one accept the occasional farmer/rancher wants to buy their monster trucks...Wake up America!

Glad I snagged one of the very last ones! A pretty little 2.3 5sp manual Extra cab w/ 4doors
Gets better then 35mpg (imp gals). cost less then 16,000..just can't beat it. Just wish it came in crew cab!

hope the TRANSMISSION works longer than mine did in my 3.0 edge. Mine died at 70k, must be a design flaw cause I took extra special care of this truck... which is BS in my book costing me a fortune to fix.

otherwise, I've enjoyed my 11 years using this truck. been a ford person all my life.

hope the transmission is better than the crap one they put in mine that died at 70k... costing me a fortune to fix. and it's probably never going to run right again. no wonder sales of this truck are down with transmissions dying this fast.

thanks ford.

Best little trucks ever made i think I will miss the ranger for ever :(



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