Where Are Ford Ranger Owners Going?

2011-Ford-Ranger II

There's no question brand loyalty is a difficult response to cultivate nowadays, especially if you decide to leave an entire segment, like Ford. Although we never heard anyone at Ford make this argument, we suppose some internal folks probably thought in-market Ford Ranger owners would take the bump up to the half-ton F-150, while others might be attracted to other price-prioritized choices like the Escape or Focus. Regardless, they thought they'd stay within the brand.

The Detroit News makes a valiant attempt at trying to find out exactly where all those midsize-truck buyers are going, now that the Ranger is no longer being sold. Some experts seem to think they're going to different brands, while others are suggesting they may be leaving the small-pickup segment altogether.

At one time, the Ranger was a major player in the compact/midsize segment, but neglect and lukewarm sales β€” without any corporate or dealership promotion) β€” seemed to conspire against this little truck (size-wise, the smallest sold) until the shrinking segment numbers made it an easy choice for Ford accountants to kill off.

PickupTrucks.com put the Ranger against its segment rivals in our 2012 Midsize Shootout at the beginning of the year and, as some predicted, it finished last. Even in its last full year of sales, though, it topped 50,000 units (and 70,000 the year before that).

Whether or not Ford will find a financial reason to return to the small-truck marketplace remains to be seen, but there are plenty of fans overseas who seem quite happy with the global Ford Ranger. More to come.

 

Comments

@Highdesert Cat-I am not going to tell you friend what to do but if he wants a new truck after having his S-10 for almost 20 years then he is entitled to do that and he more than got his money out of the S-10. I was car poor at once when I lived in the country I had as many as 6 running cars at one time. I eventually will get rid of my S-10 probably when I retire and move from a suburban house into a condo and then we will have 1 vehicle like a crossover. Meanwhile the S-10 is not costing me that much and I am still using it. I am no spring chicken either at 60.

@Denver Mike--I lived without a Ford product for over 40 years and I can live without one the rest of my life. It is hard for me to believe that Ford lost money on the Ranger since they had not changed it in 20 years. Anyway since I keep my vehicles for 10 years or more I am not concerned about CEO bonuses. I let you contribute to Mullay's bonuses.

@Lou-I think it is apparent from the comments that most of the readers have moved on from Ranger. Ford's decision was that they did not want to put any money into Ranger to update it. Corporations are run for the benefit of CEOs and that is one reason I am not that loyal to most brands. I am not going to argue pros and cons of Ford's decision there are other choices and as a consumer I can buy what I like.

@Jim: While I understand your complaint, I'm afraid you're wrong about the styling. It's not that they're being 'feminized' (I've known women all along that liked big, tough trucks) but rather that their shapes have to become more rounded in order to move more cleanly through the air at highway speeds. Trucks with huge, square noses, nearly straight-up windshields and all kinds of chrome 'bling' create drag that forces the truck to use more power just to maintain speed. Naturally, using more power means using more gas. Anything that can be done to help the truck slide through the air better helps it meet current and future gas mileage regulation.

Yes, I know you think it looks prettified, but honestly those huge, wanna-be-big-rig grills are killing our trucks' gas mileage even more than those grossly oversized (and over-powered in many cases) engines.

That new Transit work van is definitely feminine with a capital F. Anyone notice how the front grille on the Ranger resembles the grille on the front of that new full size Nissan van?

@Denver Mike-I mean't Mulally not Mullay. Alan Mulally is a capable CEO but like most CEOs bonuses come before the stockholders. After working in the corporate world that has been my experience. Nothing against Ford but just like GM it is a multinational corporation and as such I do not worship them.

Poor Tony. Just can't get past the fact that women have curves and now trucks do too. At one time, a vehicle with curves that suggested the shape of a woman was very attractive to men, and very popular too. I guess some guys have lost sight of what little beauty remains in our world.

@ Lou,
"They killed the Ranger because the benefit of upgrading/replacing it wasn't good enough for them"

Hey Lou, they killed the Ranger only for NA market, lets remember. The benefit of upgrading/replacing it must have had been good enough for them since they did just that. Designed a new one and are selling it around the world.
They killed the Ranger because they make more money on F-150s. Thus, just like you said, they care more about profits then us. They thought that Ranger customers would be loyal enough to stay with Ford, but apperantly they are not doing what Ford thought they would do. Those that need/want small truck will go and get one from somebody else. As they should!

@Clatterman--Yes GM might still be in bankruptcy and yes their products are not up to date but the one thing missing in your articles is GM's profitablity in China. What is to prevent GM from being bought out by the Chinese and then becoming a Chinese based company? We Americans tend to believe we are the only country in the World that matters. What is happening in the US car business is similiar to what happened to the British car industry which received bailouts in the 70s. The Germans, Chineses, and India now own all the British car companies but they kept the product names. Chrysler is now owned by Fiat but is still in business. It is more likely that GM will be bought out than go out of business. The Chevrolet name still has value. It is possible that sometime in the future Ford goes through a similiar situation. More and more American businesses are owned by foreign interest. Did you know that Montgomery Wards is still in business, but strictly is a internet business. The Montgomery Wards name was bought. Believe me when I say that GM will probably go into another bankrupcy but it will not disappear entirely. Have you ever heard of Hoover Vacuums of Canton, Ohio? Did you know that the Chinese now own Hoover and renamed a city that is now Canton, China? I am not a fanboy of GM, I am just stating that just because a company goes into bankruptcy does not mean it will disappear. As for VW the chairman is correct to fear Hyundai because they make a far superior car to VW and if I were in the market for a car or crossover Hyundai and Kia would be at the top of my list. I wish they would make an affordable midsize pickup because I would buy one.

"Thus, just like you said, they care more about profits then us"

Of course Ford is supposed to care more about profits. GM cares more about market share. That is why GM went bankrupt and are going bankrupt again. GM also has double the number of vehicle lines, double the employees, and only sells 15% more. Stupid.

Losing buyers/market share can allow you to cut costs and actually increase profits while freeing up capital and resources to grow market share on other vehicles and other markets.

My point is you don't chase market share unless it's profitable (unless you're GM) and it's not always profitable.

Increasing market share without a corresponding increase in profitability (or likelihood of future profitability) is not desirable. Period.

Increasing market share without a corresponding increase in profitability (or likelihood of future profitability) is not desirable. Period.

Charlie makes some good points, I mean the new Ranger has dang near a 1.5 ton payload capacity! That covers many of the people who buy full size trucks today.

I think GM's new trucks will get a nice slice of the pie and in big part to the other two domestics that aren't producing mid size trucks anymore. You hear alot of I will only buy american trucks and never a Toyota or Nissan (regardless of where it is built it is still a foreign company and that is where the profits end up...). Those that want a mid size truck and had a dakota or ranger will either end up in a gm truck, go to the full size or get a foreign mid size. Either way if it is only 33% they get of the available sales from the other two domestic trucks they will still be selling an additional 25k trucks on top of current production. Take in to consideration it being a much better truck and stealing away any sales from the others who previously bought the Nissan or Toyota, it could out sell the Tundra if the mpg's are there as well as the toughness, refinement and power. Time will tell, times are good to be a car/truck guy

@Akirb--Ford has one strategy and GM another. Neither one is completely wrong. Hopefully both work if not then life goes on. There are the Chinese who are more than ready to fill a void if the midsize and small truck market is abandoned even if they have to ship the parts here and have them assembled here. If there is enough demand someone will fill the void. That is the history of the Market Place.

@Akirb,
GM hires 20% more employees than Ford. 207K vs 166K. They sold 15% more vehicles than Ford, you're right about that. They have more vehicle lines. But it ONLY means they have more choices for customers to choose from. Just because they have 2 more lines doesnt mean they are supposed to sell twice as many cars!
I would only agree with you if Ford retained most of Ranger customers. They haven't. So in their case they are loosing buyers/market share, which directly corresponds to lower profits. And since when such thing became a good business?
Losing buyers/market share will MAKE you cut costs!
Ford did cut costs by not having to produce Ranger, yes. But they didn't increase their profits because Ranger customers are going somewhere else for small trucks instead of buying F-150s like Ford thought they would.
Any company should care about profits, sure. That's what business is all about. But they shouldnt forget who makes them profitable. Us.

Correction, 202K employed by GM. 18% more than Ford

Well of course Ford WANTS Ranger buyers and market share - who doesn't? But they only want it if it increases profitability. As opposed to GM who I believe is still chasing market share at the expense of profitability.

It's not that Ford has fogotten buyers or Ford can't bring the T6 Ranger to North America, it's whether they can do so at a profit and whether that money is better invested in more lucrative areas.

If they're losing market share because they cancelled the the Ranger - that's perfectly fine because killing those products resulted in overall cost savings.

Does Ford want to replace that lost market share with new products that are profitable? Of course! That is why we have seen a spy photo of a F-100. We'll see what happens in the next year.

I am sick and tire of hearing about GM and how many trucks and profits they are making.

How much in taxes has GM paid? Zero. Thanks to the bailout GM does not have to pay any taxes. GM does not pay any federal income taxes and get huge bailouts. That's the only way GM is still in business still doing what they are doing with too many vehicles, too many truck lines.

For the GM fans to talk about profits and how many truck lines they have and how much they "care", they forget to metion that GM doesn't pay any taxes and we are subsidizing the crappy Colorado. They don't care. If GM really "CARED" about us, their customers or the taxpayers, they would have went through bankruptcy court like every other business out there instead of asking for a bailout. They only care about the UAW.

@Jason: Do you have any verifiable facts to back up those allegations? To the best of my knowledge just because you are "supported" by the Federal government doesn't mean you don't pay taxes. Tell all of those soldiers, sailers, airmen and marines that they're not paying taxes and see what kind of response you get.

@Jason--Your delusional if you think Ford cares. No big corporation cares, not even about their stockholders. CEO bonuses are based on short term profits and stock value. If you think the shareholders are benefiting from this you must have something in your coffee besides cream and sugar. Yes and maybe GM should have gone through bankruptcy but that is history. Maybe we should breakup all unions and pay everyone minimum wage and give the wealthy a bigger tax break to create more jobs? There are a lot of maybes but none of us can really change everything that goes on. GM doesn't care as well but your blind allegiance to Ford Motor Co. is not going to earn you any respect from them as will the Ram fanboys blind allegiance to Chrysler/Fiat. Get real all these corporations are multinational meaning they operate in more than one country (not just the USA) and if they don't get what they want whether it be government loans and bailouts they can leave. Look at Chaney's company Halliburton they are no longer US based.

How much does GM still lowes us? 42 billion?

GM's stock has plummeted to $18.80, a 52 percent drop from its January 2011 high of $38.90.

Of course you don't have to worry about profits. You can do whatever you want when you are given $50 billion dollars.

GM bondholders still screwed.
Taxpayers screwed.
GM even more in the grip of the UAW.
But at least we have a Colorado! Everything is rosy.

β€œIn order to recoup its total investment in GM, Treasury will need to recover an additional $27 billion in proceeds. This translates to an average of $53.98 per share on its remaining common shares in New GM,” the IG report concluded.

So the stock s $18 now and it would have to go to $53 just to break even.

But at least we have a Colorado. Why? Because GM cares. GM cares enough to be in every market and lose money.

http://freebeacon.com/gm-still-42b-in-the-hole/

@Jason-And whether GM is bankrupt or receiving government loans they are not exempt from taxes. They might have less profits which in turn means they pay less taxes but they still owe taxes. Bankruptcy does not dismiss tax obligations--all taxes are paid first. Also GM employees pay taxes as well and they usually pay plenty of tax. So because employees pay taxes, GM pays taxes. Also the next time you get paid look at the payroll taxes your employer pays which are Social Security, FICA, and Medicare which GM pays as well. Now getting back on topic what is the result of Ford not having Ranger? No one really knows for sure but that is a risk that any corporation makes in a decision whether to continue to provide a certain product or not. Time will tell and if Ford deems that they should get back into this market then they will and if not that is what they will do. That's Ford decision which I don't recall Ford asking our input on their decision.

Well said Jeff.

@DWFields, Jeff S
I think this is what Jason was referring to:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704462704575590642149103202.html

http://money.cnn.com/2011/02/23/news/companies/gm_bailout/index.htm

The Colorado is actually narrower than the Ranger.

Ranger 69.3 inches wide.
Colorado 67.6 inches wide.

Ranger ext cab 203.6 Inches Long
Colorado Ext cab/4door 207.1 inches long.

If the Ranger is considered compact instead of midsize, so should the Colorado.

@akirb

Link to spyshots of F-100 please?

MOAR BACON, none exist. He is talking about 3-4 year old spy photos of new Ranger that everybody thought would be new F-100.

Gregory -

Thanks. Those are the only "F-100" pictures I had seen in the past and again just now after a few quick searches

@Luke--Thanks for the link but GM is paying payroll taxes and the GM workers are paying income tax. If GM went out of business then we would be paying more workers unemployment and we would also be paying unemployment to the parts suppliers. Ford and Chrysler use some of the same suppliers and Ford wanted GM to receive a bailout because it effects their suppliers.

Ford would have received a bailout, which they were pretty close to before they started selling off some of there investments. I would have been in favor of Ford receiving help as well if they needed it and truth be known the Ford fanboys on this site would be defending a bailout for Ford if they needed it. I understand why people don't like the bailouts but how long are these people going to carryon. Growup and get a life.

Maybe a better idea in the future would be to offer GM or Ford to the Chinese since they have the money. I think the way our country is going we ought to just let the Chinese take everything over they couldn't do any worse than our elected officials and most corporate CEOs. I do not hear anyone complaining about loans to banks and brokerage houses that sold investors the mortgage backed securities. I don't hear anyone complaining about us spending money in Iraq and Afganistan when the bridges and roads and other infrastructure is falling apart.

I myself would probably buy a Asian import if Ford is the only one left if I did not find what I liked from Ford. Some of you guys would say you have to buy American whether you like it or not and if our trucks are too big well you are not a real man so you should not be driving a truck. I am old enough I don't have to play childish games and I will get what I want. I do like to support our own workers and American businesses when I can but if I am told to take it or leave it and one size fits all I will go somewhere else. I will let some of you get in a pissing contest as to my truck is better than yours. Some of you are younger than me and you feel like you have something to prove. I have nothing to prove and I can adapt.

If necessary I could live with out an American made car or truck by an American owned corporation but I think that is not the best for our country. I realize some of you could not live without a Ford or a Ram but I could live with a Toyota, Hyundai, Kia, or a Great Wall of China truck. That is my 2 cents worth and I feel I am not alone. Maybe this is one of the reasons why the younger generation is not that into cars or trucks, they read some of these stupid blogs and say "Hey dude I am not interested. Whatever."

@Jeff S
Sure, GM is paying payroll taxes, but being allowed to carry forward tax losses from Old GM to New GM is a substantial manipulation of bankruptcy law that has, and will, save GM a significant amount of money. You can be sure if New GM did not have those tax benefits, its profits would be measurably less.

@Luke--Maybe so but personally I don't care and after reading the fanboy crap I decided I am not going to buy a Ford, GM , or Chrysler. I will buy a Toyota or Nissan and if the Great Wall of China truck ever comes I will look at one of those. Maybe I should not be as concerned about American jobs but I would rather see GM succeed and have some hopes of recovering taxpayer money than cheer for their demise. What I am saying is I care more about American workers than I care about Ford, Chrysler, and GM but I am so sick of the bickering about bailouts and brand rivalry that I think I will support an Asian maker and they will put plants here as well and employ Americans without government loans and without having a product crammed down my throat that I do not want. That is called consumer choice and a free market. Thanks for helping me make up my mind my next truck will be a Tacoma or a Frontier.

@Jeff S
We don't have the brand loyalty issue as significant as you guys do. Our brand loyal activists are only concerned mainly with Holden and Ford. Most of us don't care where our vehicle is manufactured.

Manufacturing used to be the domain of the modernised "West" and people have to realise manufacturing has gone the way of agriculture, anyone can grow an apple.

Trying to save and protect any industry that isn't viable at the expense of a country should not be allowed. If a company from another country buys an Australian or US or any company who cares, so long as the business contiinues to operate.

We do have the made in Australia, and save our manufacturing jobs groups. But the reality is would you pay 2 to 3 times more for a product of the same quality. Also, irrespective if you were from Canada, US or Australia your standard of living conditions would halve.

Supporting unproductive jobs is economic suicide. That's why trade barriers and protectionism will eventually kill an economy. It's like sending a group of obese people to compete in the Olympics to protect atheletes. Not smart or competitive.

To protect US business you guys need to live within your means and as I have shown in the past the importation of fuel is a thorn in the side of the US economy. That's why it makes sense to use less fuel, ie smaller vehicles and engines, even if the technology cost more to reduce that reliance.

You have to become more accountable for the situation you find yourselve in. You don't have an inherent right to fuel supplies, no one does. All you big engine people are partly responsible for the economic woes you are having. And the brand activists are blind.

Its well and good to say I'm patriotic because I buy from my country when in fact most components and sub assemblies are imported.

What I have wrote isn't anti-American, we have similar issues here.

Your Ranger buyers are going to buy another brand that suit their requirements, maybe and import.

@Jeff S
Honestly, I wasn't trying to influence you toward one truck or another, I was just providing some evidence to substantiate the claim that GM got some post-bankruptcy corporate tax breaks. No fanboy crap, just facts.

@Big Al from Oz--Thanks for your comments, I totally agree with you. I do not want or need a large truck, if I did I would get one. I think that those that want a large truck should be allowed to have one but those of us that don't should not have it crammed down our throats under the false pretense of patriotism. Buying a consumer item does not make you a patriotic citizen, patiotism is standing up for what you believe in and defending others rights to freedom of speech and opinions whether they coincide with your beliefs or not. That is the trouble with most Americans now is that you should only have freedom of speech and opinions if you agree with them, otherwise you should be quiet because then you are not a loyal American. Our ancestors would turn over in their graves if they saw how we have twisted and abused our precious freedoms.

Maybe the government loans to any industry whether it is autos or financial institutions is bad but to go on harping about the past is not good either. If you focuse on the past you cannot move forward.

I am so turned off by the brand loyalty that I am driven to choose a product that none of the loyalist support. I think all the trucks are good and there have been some vast improvements in safety and reliablity but I do not like anything crammed down my throat. I prefer not to follow but to choose my own path.

I have bought 4 new vehicles since 1994 and all of them have been UAW American made and I have supported mostly Ford and GM but I now have decided it is about time to support Asian Corporations that put plants in America. I have more respect for the values and ethics of Japanese Corporations than for American based corporations that insincerely and falsely use patriotism to sell products especially products that I don't want or need.

Previous to 1994 I had a Mitsubishi Mighty Max Pickup and a Honda Accord which were 16 and 17 years old when I got rid of them. I really liked them and I got a lot less grief in having them serviced than Ford and GM and I was not ridiculed for owning them. I would like to see Great Wall of China put a plant in NA and offer that truck that you had a link to. A 4x4 crewcab with heated leather seats for around 20k just sold me. Ford, GM, and Chrysler can do there thing and if they are bought out by the Chinese then so be it. I like to drive a more fuel efficient vehicle and I do not have to prove I am a man by having the biggest and baddest truck around. I am 60 years old I do not have to prove I am a man. Heck I have got neck ties that are middle age and older than some of these so called experts who like to hear themselves orate.

Luke,
It's not about GM getting post-bankruptcy corporate tax breaks. It's about GM not loosing them. Everybody gets tax breaks, Ford, Chrysler, etc. But very often corporations loose them when going thru bankruptcy. The story is about GM keeping same tax breaks as pre-bankruptcy.
Quote from one of the articles you provided:
"Companies typically get a break on future taxes because of past losses. But in most cases they lose that tax break during bankruptcy..."
"GM even warned it expected to lose those tax breaks shortly before filing for Chapter 11 protection.
But somehow, that never happened..."
GM lost some of those tax breaks but not all.
I wouldn't be surprised if Ford gets better tax breaks than GM since they didn't loose any.

@Jeff S - my previous post was aimed at the same fanboi's that annoy you. It is strange to see adult men (I assume adult) worship brands. Like I said earlier - Ford is just like any other company. They care about profits first. PERIOD.
People say that how can they make profits if they loose customers?
Akirb is correct.
You focus on what makes you the most money. Ford has that strategy clearly outlined. You focus on the 20% that makes you 80% of your money. It is called the 20/80 rule.
Ford makes a ton of cash with F-Series in North America , therefore why piss around with the Ranger?
Globally ie. the rest of the world, Ford makes their money with the Ranger. That means no global F-Series.
Ford is planning on paring down to 20-25 nameplates from around 100. It looks like they take that 20/80 rule seriously.
Funny how GMC gets brought up.
Will they go bankrupt again?
THey need to learn to focus on what makes them money. Some have pointed out that they are fixated on covering as many markets as possible.
Does this strategy make them money?
Yes....... BUT........ not as much as focusing on what matters.
GMC may be the number 1 global seller but how many auto companies sold less products but made more profits?
Ford and VW are rated #13 and #14 as the most profitable companies (ANY COMPANY) in the world. GMC is globally #48.
If you confine the list to USA companies, Ford is #5 and GMC is #20.
Ford isn't loosing money by killing the Ranger in North America.

I have to agree with Jeff S on another point - If a "domestic" does not make a product I like or want, I will buy it from someone who does.

@Gregory J
Yeah, I understand all companies get various tax breaks here and there, but no company has been able to carry forward previous losses through bankruptcy to offset future taxable liability. That is all I am pointing out.

I didn't realize pointing out documented facts (with reputable sources) would be so controversial.

What you people don't understand, and I've been reading this website for about a year or so and it's always the same issue with GM haters, is that YOUR OWN government, UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT, helped an AMERICAN company in need, a 100 years old AMERICAN company.
It amazes me how you put down YOUR OWN.
Maybe one day when you lose it all, you'll understand how good you've had it!

Gregory J. | Aug 23, 2012 9:41:44 PM, the majority of Americans were against the bailouts, handouts and nationalization.

If Shrub had handled it better maybe more would have signed on.

When Obama doubled down on selectively bailing out his friends and supporters at the cost of the taxpayers of America, that set off the firestorm of protests and divided America into two factions.

I'm in the faction that does not support bailouts, handouts or nationalization of any kind for anyone, anywhere at any time.

I am a politically Independent, which means I have voted for candidates from both sides of the aisle. This is not a political issues for me, it is a business decision IMO, and a bad one at that.

You can't keep throwing good money at a failed and defunct business. That's why we dumped Chrysler and bribed Fiat with $1.3B to take its carcass off our hands.

Ultimately, it is up to the actual buyers of new cars to decide. If they support bailouts, handouts and nationalization, they'll buy GM. If they don't, they'll buy something else.

This is only an issue with people who actually PAY TAXES. Since more than 50% of Americans do not pay any income tax at all, you would think that more people would buy GM products but with only an 18% marketshare that appears not to be so.

I think Ford should do what they think is best for Ford but that does not mean I should be forced to buy a product from Ford. Same goes with GM and Chrysler. Domestic manufacturers have lost there appeal to me and quite frankly they could learn a few lessons from the Koreans. Case in point none of the domestics have cars that look like a Sonota and the Elantra nor do they have the warranty and the fuel economy in one package. If I am going to spend 40 to 50k on a crossover or SUV why spend that on a Ford Explorer or Jeep Grand Cherokee when you can get a BMW or a Lexus that gives you better service. I live in Northern Kentucky in a fairly affluent neighborhood and at least half the vehicles are imported brands with most being Japanese and Korean. From most of what I hear their dealership service experience is much better than mine. One of the nearby Ford dealership's service department has an answering machine for their service department and does't return calls (I have gone over to Indiana to another Ford dealership that has better service). The big Chevy dealership advertises like crazy with the owner getting on in a plaid jacket but when you go in for service its like take a number and maybe we will get to you and when you pick it up go find your car in our large lot of cars. Also having to take my truck back for over a year to get them to adjust the clutch they installed for me that I paid for. Keep your domestics, not for me anymore.

I think eventually our domestic auto industry will go the way of British car industry and we will still see GM and Ford but they will be foreign owned just like Chrysler and so far it is working for Chrysler regardless of the anti-Fiat comments on this site. Most of the Japanese corporations and the Korean Corporations are better run than our US corporations and they don't give their CEOs ungodly compensation on the lines of Donald Trump. Alan Mulally might be a nice guy but I would rather support a company that makes the exact product I want and Ford, although they make good products, currently does not make what I want.

@Big Al from Oz--The only way that the NA market is going to get global trucks is when all the domestic manufacturers get foreign ownership which I believe will happen with GM becoming Chinese and eventually Ford will get bought out. Usually corporations that are in bad financial condition are take over targets as GM or like Ford have good financial footing which attracts a takeover because the acquisition will bring lots of cash and profitability to the one that is taking over. Maybe we should let the marketplace determine who should survive and the chicken tax should definitely go because it creates a falsely protected market which stifles competition and protects union jobs.

Unions should go as well and the taxpayers should not have to support them through a GM bailout. Ford and Chrysler should be allowed to have an open shop and not be forced to have unions. From what I read and most of the comments on this site the bailout was mostly to protect the unions and their jobs so if you eliminate unions you will have no bailouts in the future.

Highdesertcat,
50% of you dont pay taxes, yet you people can't get over an issue that GM gets some tax breaks. Go figure!

@Jeff S, this is very concise.
Again, I will go off track a little. This is what I see about the past and future economy which will impact vehicles.

Believe it or not I think the US came of age because of the Civil War. The NE industrialised out of necessity to fight the British backed south. After the Civil War look at the great inventions that came out of the US and the manufacturing output (money). And the South still hasn't caught up industrially to the NE and Rust belt.

Europe loved it as they made money and had cheap modern products. The Europeans including the British didn't accept and adjust to allow for the expanding US economy.

WWI crippled the European economy. After the war the Europeans still didn't understand the impact and influence of the US economy, until it was too late.

The US industrialists and bankers didn't know how to manage the new found wealth and along with the arrogance of the Europeans we had the Great Depression.

WWII is an extention of WWI and the Depression. Out of this the US reigned supreme, until now, it is genuinely challenged. The technology that made the US was mass production. But this technology was easily adapted to other countries and markets. Just because you create a technology doesn't mean you will be the best at it.

Now there are parallels with the reluctance of the "West" to allow China and others room to breathe. Just like the past with the US.

The world will need to make a shift or it will be forced upon us to allow room for China, India and all the other expanding and resource hungry countries.

The only way for the vehicle industry to survive was and is to globalise. Its inevitable. Manufacturers will rationalise and reduce platforms available. This started after the Oil Crissis of the 70s and will accelerate. NA for years has been trying to maintain its own unique market, including pickups and commercials.

Auto manufacturers will slowly homongenise, names will change products will change, pickups will change. 180 countries us globals, I know what direction pickups are heading in.

This will end, but when I don't know. The price of resources will dictate this more so than emission control measures.

@Gregory J--Could not have said it better. Those that complain the loudest about taxes and big government are those that are either retired living off of Social Security, Disability, VA Benefits, or Government Pension. My father-in-law who was a staunch Republican and against big government had not filed a tax return in over 50 years and had been living on a VA Pension. I paid enough taxes for both of us and I was glad that the VA took care of his medical. If I were totally selfish I would say I am not getting anything out of this so I will only pay for things that directly benefit me and the rest of you can take care of yourselves.

We have forgotten the purpose of a government. We have gone to the extreme saying we don't need any government. There is a middle ground between too much government and too little but most people don't seem to want any government but don't mess with my disability or benefits. We have become a selfish self absorbed society which is in rapid decline. We should in reality have an honest discussion of what do we want our government to do and what do we not want it to do and how much we are willing to pay for government services. Most people are more emotional and less pragmatic and that is why we get pandered to by our politicians and nothing really gets done.

As for government loans most would agree that this is not a first choice or an ideal solution. What is done is done and instead of harping on the GM bailout we need to discuss what we as a country could do better to avoid this messy situation. I read and hear lots of criticism and maybe GM should have been forced into bankruptcy but it is ironic that the Ford fanboys either don't know or won't acknowledge that Ford was for GM and Chrysler getting government loans. Why would Ford be in favor of helping their competitiors? Maybe just maybe they use the same parts suppliers and those part suppliers need GM and Chrysler's business to stay in business to supply Ford with parts.

In a true free enterprise system we would just not give any government loans and like Walmart tells their suppliers just go to China and get the parts cheaper. Maybe Ford should just go to China and pass the savings on to the consumer and give the CEO a bigger bonuse the "Walmart Way".

After reading some of these comments maybe I should not be concerned about American jobs and say it doesn't effect me or my job, let Ford go to China and let the Chinese own GM because we can get a cheaper product and not have to support those overpaid union workers. As a matter of fact let the Walmart wage scale determine what these workers get paid and let's not waste money on providing them with health care or retirement benefits.

In reality no one wants to have an honest discussion and do I think outsourcing jobs to China is good? No but since we are talking about free enterprise and no government interference this is what it is. I myself would like to see GM succeed in order to get some of my taxpayer money back and the more workers that are working the more taxes that are paid and the more consumer items that they buy and thus all of us benefit. This is far off the topic but Ford did what Ford deemed necessary and as a consumer in a free society, free from coersion and intimidation I can choose to buy any competitors product that I like whether it is foreign or domestic as long as this product is legal. Apparently there are those on this site that would like to take that away from the rest of us. I vote for everyone should have a choice. Live long and prosper!

@Jeff S - good post. You are correct that the populace needs to decide what they want and/or need from their government. You are correct that people are too self-absorbed. Attendance rates at municipal, state/province, and federal elections are truly pathetic. 50% is considered a good turnout. China is criticised for communism but they know how to stay in power. Give people the chance to make a living, provide some consitent law and order and most do not care about anything else. 50% election turnout in a democratic country proves that the Chinese are right. I personaly feel that government shouldn't get involved in funding failed companies. A government is responsible for making the laws that ensure a fair, just, and orderly society. They are also responsible to enforce those laws. Government failed big time by letting the financial mess develop in the first place. Government is also responsible to provide protection for/to its countrymen. That does not mean building military bases all over the world. It means local law enforcement and security first and foremost. Government should be involved in setting the foundations or pillars that a society are built upon. That would cover health and education and infrastructure. You cannot have a strong foundation without education. You cannot have a strong foundation without a healthy populace. You cannot have a healthy country without buildings, bridges, roads etc. Big government and big business are currently one and the same. They do not care about us. They care about power and wealth.

@Lou--It is refreshing to read your opinions. A agree with everything you said. To me the verdict is still out on the GM government loan but I think any kind of loan by the Federal Government to a business is a mistake. Look at the financial institution bailouts and the mess that was created in the mortgage back securities. The mortgage back securities came close to destroying the US economy and many of countries which was more damaging that what happen in the auto industry. Have these financial institutions really changed? US involvement in Iraq and Afganistan turned a budget surplus into record deficits yet people accept that and are more concerned about birth control, abortions, and gays having civil unions which granted some of these things I might not been that happy about but I would like someone to tell me how those social issues effect the average family that is just trying to get by. Involvement in Afganistan destroyed the Soviet Union and contributed to the downfall of the British empire. But wars make money for the defense industry which President Eisenhower warned us of the Military and Industrial Complex in his final speech before leaving office. Eisenhower was a general and career military.

Canadians such as you and Australians such as Big Al from Oz know much more about the USA and its history than most USA citizens. My wife says that the government after Vietnam decided that the youth were too well educated because of all the protests about the Vietnam War and questioning our involvement in it. She said after Vietnam our leaders decided to dumb down the population in order to get them to fight and support all future wars. It is ironic that after 911 which was a horrific event that we were encouraged to go out and shop and that buying a new car was patriotic.

I believe in order to move forward people need to have an honest discussion of what they expect out of their government. Instead of complaining about GM bailouts let us have an honest discussion of what lessons were learned and what are the alternatives. It is always easy to arm chair quarterback Monday morning Sunday's football game but it is much harder but more constructive to discuss lessons learned. Would studying the nationalization of the British car industry such as British Leyland and the Swedish auto industry Saab and Volvo helped us determine the success or failure of government loans and ownership. It is much easier to criticize than to analyze something.

@Jeff S and Lou
We have similar issues in Australia, except voting is more or less compulsory, you have to turn out to vote, but not vote for any political party.

In Australia its about big unions and business. But our small and medium businesses are the real innovators and bread winners for our country.

Government involvment has evolved well beyond what is necessary. Trivial issues seem to be debated in the media.

Training and education is significant, but "improvements" rarely if ever happen. The government and Teacher's union blame everything and everyone but themselves for lack of improvement and progress.

We are lucky that we really haven't had any significant bailouts of the auto industry. In Australia if a business isn't viable there is a greater tendency to allow it to go under more so than in NA and Europe.

I don't think many of our young are taught the geography and history we were taught, this is a pity as the events of the past and of the now is what has shaped us as a country and were we fit in the world.

The Western culture for all its great contributions has created some of the saddest moments in history with the most destructive wars.

But the Western culture is the most successful culture, becasue of the freedoms we expect and other cultures will adopt what we have as our culture is the best tool for survival.

Freedom is the basis of our culture and the politicans and the large institutions should remember this.

@Big Al from Oz & Lou-These discussions have been the best ones I have had in a long time. It is a relief to talk about something besides the usual brand rivalry. To me my truck is a useful tool in which I can use it not just for my individual transportation but to haul things in. That is why I own a truck and what brand I drive is not that important as long as it meets my needs, is safe, reliable, and efficient, I do not use my truck as a toy but I do not judge others for doing so. I do agree with you Lou that who you are and your background determine the choices you make whether it is the truck you drive, the car you drive, the van you drive, the spouse you choose, where you live, and who your friends are. None of those things are irrelevant. Al you are correct that most people particularily younger people do no know the history of their country, World History, and Geography. The only way that we can get along is to understand each other and appreciate what we share in common and our differences. Thank you guys for a great discussion and have a great evening and day for you Al.

I have a Ford Ranger soon to be replace by a Ford Super Duty a XLT Crew-Cab Diesel 4x4 since im a die hard ford fan I will only buy ford products mainly the super duty no frontier , tacoma n gm twins for me only Ford Super Duty cause ford makes the most money of the super duty trucks n ford also did not need bailout out money either

@Jeff S - I fear that you are correct. Keeping the populace misinformed, ignorant, and in a constant state of clan infighting has been a strategy used by the ruling elites for millenia. Keep the Ford guys fighting the Ram guys fighting the Chevy guys fightiing the GMC guys fighting the Toyota guys. My football team is better than your football team. Blacks versus whites, USA versus the world/Arabs/Chinese/Japanese etcetera ad nauseam.
They cannot see the real problems and the elites live on growing richer. Health care reform in the USA is a prime example of that kind of manipulation. Turn the fight into left versus right, democrat versus republican, capitalism versus socialist/communist. The debate should of focused upon the fact that 26% or 1 out of 4 adult Americans do not have health care coverage.
The elites have supplanted the "American dream" with a set of ideals and values that if pursued will never amount to happiness. The new "American Dream" is based on the idea that happiness comes from 4 things: youth, beauty, health, and wealth. That new ideal is often pared down to the "ultimate ideal" which is material wealth at any cost. If you have enough wealth you can buy the other 3.

@Lou-That is exactly how I feel. Our society worships wealth and we think that things can buy us happiness and then we wonder why we are not happy when we acquire lots of material stuff. Cable TV has a show called "Hoaders Buried Alive" and most of these people are not happy they have just cluttered their lives up with junk.

As for car and trucks if a product disappears from the market like Pontiac, Saturn, Hummer, Oldsmobile, Mercury, or Saab sure there are some of us that would miss them but lets be honest we can always find a substitute. The disappearance of Studebaker, Nash, Packard, Crosley, Edsel, Desota were missed by my parents generation (my father had a couple of Studebakers and liked them) but they adapted as well and found substitutes. Same with GM if they went totally under or more likely if they became Chinese we all would adapt. I liked the Noma brand all wheel steer riding mower and had several of them but they were bought out by Murray and then were discontinued and I found a subsitute.

As you stated about health care in this country that is a real issue that effects everyone. Infrastructure and education are other issues that effect everyone. I use to give most voters the benefit of the doubt that they would support policies and programs that were good for the entire country and that most elected officials had the best interest of the people they represent. Brother was I ever naive. Everything has become divisive from what you buy to how you choose to worship. As for someone who chooses a different truck or has differing views from mine I would rather respect their choices. The powers that be want to divide and conquer. In reality we all share the same planet and same air and we would all be a lot happier if we just got along. .

Joshredrangerwoermke--You have a right to your choices and if Ford is your choice and that brand serves your needs that is great. Living in Kentucky the Ford truck plant in Louisville, the Toyota plant in Georgetown, and the Corvette plant in Bowling Green are all vital contributors to the economy both in Kentucky and the USA.

As a avid Ranger owner I have to say when I bought my last one in 2011 I did drive the F150, it was nice but way to big in size and in price. We've owned Fords for nearly 20 years trading them in every 3, my wife will still get the Mustangs but I think, sad to say, my next truck will be a Nissan Frontier unless Ford decides to bring that sexy new Ranger style to the US.

I'm going to the used truck lots and the junkyards. Keeping my four-banger Ranger is service is relatively easy. It doesn't need work often and when it does need work the fixing is easier for me than most trucks.

I think I can, realistically, get another 150K from my 1993.



The comments to this entry are closed.