Five Reasons Ford Should Bring Ranger Back to U.S.

New Ford Ranger 1_Front 3qtr II

By Tim Esterdahl

The reveal of a new 2016 Ford Ranger in Bangkok meant for only overseas markets once again raises questions about why Ford doesn't bring the Ranger to the U.S. Ford usually offers explanations that include the midsize pickup segment's decreased sales and the need to focus on more popular pickup trucks and commercial options. While this reasoning makes sense, here are five reasons why Ford should reconsider.

1. The Market Has Changed

When Ford decided to discontinue Ranger in the U.S. there was little doubt the midsize truck market was shrinking. This sales decline saw Ranger sales drop from 350,000 in 1999 to a little more than 55,000 in 2010. Overall, the segment shrunk from 8 percent of all auto sales to just less than 2 percent.

At the time, Ford executives looked at the sales data and said customers would move up to a full-size truck, a crossover or into an inexpensive car, which they say helped kill the frugal buyer's need for a compact truck. Then when the crew-cab craze hit and manufacturers offered big incentives for full-size pickups, the small-truck market had nowhere to go but away.

But now things are different; while it's still early, the popularity of the 2015 Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon are raising interesting questions about the midsize truck segment. Probably the most interesting question is where are these customers coming from? Looking at the sales data from the first few months of the year, we see 26,278 of those trucks have been sold so far. This potentially puts the pair on pace to sell 100,000 vehicles by year end. Additionally, the other competitors in the segment, the Nissan Frontier and Toyota Tacoma, are both showing strong sales growth as well. This is a different situation than the one that existed when Ford pulled the Ranger plug.

2. Vehicles Are Becoming Global

Another argument we commonly hear is that overseas customers are different from U.S. consumers — they have different needs so they need products suited for a different lifestyle. There's no arguing with the fact that the global midsize pickup needs to be a workhorse in many different countries, but engineers are getting smarter about how to create vehicles that can do both better. Let's take Ford and GM as an example.

When looking at Ford and the 2016 Ranger, the company said it wanted to improve this model in three key areas: interior, technology and fuel economy. Those areas of improvement sound like the types of changes U.S. buyers would appreciate and value. Also, Ford recently launched a new "global" Ford Mustang. The overall size, dimensions, styling and powertrains will be largely the same as the Mustang sold in the states. If the pony car can be sold around the world, why can't the Ranger?

GM's Chevy Colorado is offered throughout the world — under the same nameplate — and targets consumers with many of the same features and capabilities marketed in the U.S. Yes, we know these two vehicles are structurally different, but it wouldn't surprise us if the long-term plan is to get the two trucks on a similar platform and reduce total production costs and complexity.

Another item that is often brought up is the size difference between midsize pickups in the U.S. versus global trucks. If you use an extended-cab long-box Colorado LT as a comparison, you can see the differences are just a few inches here and there. The global truck is just slightly smaller.


It sure looks like the Ranger "fits" in the U.S. considering how close it is to the North American Colorado.

3. Sales People Are Smarter

Another argument you will hear from Ford, as well as Ram, is that dealers will push a midsize customer to buy a full-size truck. For years it was assumed dealers would steer customers into larger and more profitable pickups.

Again, after looking at the sales data and talking with new pickup buyer Tony Ricciardella, who just bought a 2015 $40,000 GMC Canyon All Terrain, this simply doesn't seem to be happening.

Ricciardella said no one pushed him to look at full-size trucks. He told the salesman he was looking for a GMC Canyon, and they only focused on that truck.

"The idea that a dealership salesperson would switch customers from one type of new car to another type of new car isn't grounded in reality," said Jason Lancaster, former Toyota dealership sales manager and editor of "Most dealership salespeople are paid a flat-fee commission on new vehicles as the profit margins on new vehicles are all so skinny now that dealers don't even try to pay commission as a percentage of gross profit. As a result, the typical Toyota salesperson generally has no more to gain selling you a new Tundra than they do selling you a new Yaris."

4. Buyers With New Priorities

One of the most interesting trends in the truck market is how consumers' buying criteria changes. To a certain extent, fuel economy is a good example of this. Just a few years ago, when fuel prices were higher and governmental regulation was more aggressive, fuel economy was a big selling point; however, today it's lower on the list because of lower prices at the pump.

Check out this video for a 2011 Ford F-150:


And now this video for a 2015 Ford F-150:


Notice anything? The 2011 Ford F-150 commercial starts with a focus on fuel economy, while the 2015 Ford F-150 commercial doesn't even mention it.

Why bring this up? When Ford ended the Ranger program, it said fuel economy was a big part of its decision. As these advertisements show, marketing departments have realized how little fuel economy factors into consumers' buying decisions these days.

Also, if fuel economy was such a big factor, we would see a growth in regular-cab short-bed trucks with small-displacement engines. That simply isn't happening. The larger crew-cab models have become the best-selling configuration for many manufacturers, and many of these trucks are EPA-rated for between 17 and 20 mpg highway. Customers seem OK with that kind of fuel economy, and anything better doesn't seem like a big seller. When was the last time we highlighted or you saw an advertisement for a high-fuel-efficient model?

When Ford made the decision to end the Ranger lineup, all of the market signs pointed to it being a reasonable decision. But times have changed and it's time for the Ranger to come back.

5. Price Structures Have Changed

Beyond the size issues, having a smaller and larger pickup for customers to choose from has always included the differentiating issue of price - if you can't afford something bigger, then something a little smaller is available.

There's no arguing with the fact that average transaction prices for full-size pickup have climbed significantly in the last 10 years, largely on the heels of the increase in the number and popularity of premium-level trim packages (Platinum, Laramie Limited, High Country, 1794 Edition, etc.). As a result, there is now enough room under the full-size pickup pricing structure to accommodate a smaller truck option — in some cases creating a $10,000 or more price difference. Even base-level midsize and half-ton models (like the Colorado and Silverado 1500) are separated by roughly $6,000.

This pricing separation, of course, is not sufficient enough to continue the midsize growth. But if GM's truck strategy succeeds, you can bet Ford will be looking at the option a little harder, and possibly looking for something even smaller. After all, if GM can make a three-truck strategy work, why wouldn't it make sense for Ford to raise the stakes and come out with a four-truck strategy for the U.S. pickup customer? Of course, the first step is getting Ford to bring back the Ranger.

Manufacturer images


New Ford Ranger 3_Rear 3qtr II



Ford can keep the Ranger; Remember the "Lord God King Bufu's of Ford's upper Echelon of Management said "Let them have a Fiesta or an F-150, they do not need a new Ranger.. I never will own another Ford product; EVER!

The Colorado we have here is not the global Colorado. In fact it is marketed as a truck for car people who want to look cool driving a truck that isn't really a truck. Don't believe me? Watch the ads. "Which guy looks cooler? The guy next to the Colorado or the Toyota Corolla?" Yes, that is an actual ad topic.

Colorado sales have dropped monthly and will likely continue to once the pent up demand buyers get theirs.

Tacoma and Frontier sales are pretty much rolling along like they usually do without new versions. Let's see what happens when the revised Tacoma debuts.

I see 2015 F150s on the road. Yet to see a Colorado or a Canyon here in CT/MA.

If Ford brings this truck here it will very likely sell well. The 2011 Ranger was a good truck, but extremely stale. It seems only a matter of time before the Ford brings this here (pent-up demand). There are tons of people driving old Rangers that will probably keep driving them until a new one comes out. As nice and fuel-efficient as the new F-150s are, they are still more truck than a lot of people want.

I do think most of what you've written is accurate.

You have left out one significant aspect of the new midsizer, and that is the refinement offered.

The current crop of midsizer now offers a vehicle as refined and in most instances can fulfill the physical work required from a full size. I do believe that much commentary on PUTC doesn't reflect the "average" potential US pickup consumer.

I do believe the US will always be a dominant full size pickup market. But I also believe there will gradually be and increasing midsize market.

The reason behind this is the pickup is gradually becoming a large car alternative. This is occurring here in Australia, as our local Falcon and Commodore sales evaporate the mid size sales have hit top gear.

The US has a large midsize SUV/CUV market that could potentially move to a midsize pickup. You also have the "hidden" full size V6 gasoline buyers, who bought because they needed/wanted a pickup, but didn't want a V8. These people necessarily didn't want a full size either.

A percentage of these people could move over to a mid size pickup.

I do think the US pickup market is distorted to a degree. This is caused by the measure in place to placate the US pickup manufacturers.

Imagine having a range of 15 brands to choose from in your pickup market? If Australia with it's 24 million people can support this many manufacturers, the US should be able to handle this or even more.

Allow these companies to sell in the US without the restrictive and uncompetitive controls.

Then look at what the potential is for the US midsize market.

Good article.

The Ranger and Colorado sales would not have dropped if Ford and GM had up-dated them. The 2011 Ranger was basicaly a 1994 Ranger that was never updated as the Coloraod had not been updated since 2004....they both had the mentality of " what ever we build they will buy",,,,, not so much....

Many appear to use the previous US Ranger as a basis for comments regarding the global Ranger.

There is a huge difference between the US Ranger and the global Ranger. Even our previous Ranger was based on a Mazda global platform, when the US Mazda was based on the US Ranger. Two completely different products.

A comparison between the "old" US Ranger and the customers it targeted would be slightly different as well.

Like the new Colorado, a new US Ranger based on the global version would have much improved refinement, capability and FE. It would also overlap into the full size 1/2 ton segment in tow and load like the Colorado.

@Big Al--You comments about a market for global trucks in the USA could become reality. There are a lot of us out there who prefer a smaller size to full size. There is a market for both full and midsize trucks and possibly a true compact truck.

I think that if Ford thought it would make them money they would bring the ranger here in a heart beat. they would need to get it EPA certified and crash tested in hopes that it will steal sales from other midsize trucks. I Don't know how well the GM rucks will do in the long run vs Toyota Tacoma. Look at The Whole Jeep Wrangler vs Fj cruiser, the 2 door blazer and Ford Bronco before that. the Wrangler is still around the others are not. Most people will keep buying the Tacoma without cross shopping the other vehicles in the segment. A lot of Rangers where sold as fleet vehicles and have been replaced by smaller vans in that regard or bigger trucks like f150 and Ram. Most Small trucks sold are lifestyle crew cabs and not work trucks, they don't even offer regular cab anymore in the states.

The global Ranger is a midsize where as the last US Ranger was a compact. Two very different truck segments. People often mix the two. Today there are no new compact pickups being sold in America. Just midsize, full size, and heavy duty. The Colorado is not a "small" truck like many articles call it, it is a medium size truck.

@Dave, I've always wondered how the old Colorado and Ranger would have done (regarding performance and sales) if they would have kept them up-to-date. It would have likely pushed Nissan and Toyota to update their pickups as well.

@Big Al, You've made some good points. It's clear the old US Ranger and the global Rangers share nothing but the name. I think this new one would still appeal to old Ranger customers. And I think you're right, with the way the market has changed I think it would appeal to others as well.

The seventh reason is all the unemployed mechanics waiting for a new Ford product.

Who would buy it?

Old Ranger fans would have tons of built in excuses for how much they hate it. Foreign or "Furrin", "not BOF", "too big", "ugly", "not at 1994 pricing".

Taco buyers will never switch, see oxi.

The GM twins are not setting fire. It looks almost as big as a full size.

Come up with a business case and present it to Ford HQ, and see if they hire you, if one wants one so bad.

If you follow the logic being used by some posters here, the Ridgeline, Baja, Ford Sporttrac and Dakota would all be alive and well. The market spoke and they are currently just in existence in the lore of trucks people didn't buy enough of. The Ridgeline has gone back to the drawing board to be made more trucklike it appears. What made the old US Ranger a big seller was it truly being a mini truck that yielded mileage to reflect the size and pricing to match. That is where the others are all missing the boat. No one wants near full sized mileage or almost the same window sticker for less truck. It is common sense. If you have nowhere to park a fullsized truck, then you likely do not need one. If demand is so great for midsized trucks, then why have the sales fallen off a cliff with almost as many discontinuations as actively selling models??

Al bases his opinion on flawed data. Of course he sees loads of midsized trucks in Oz. That is practically all you can buy there!!! I wonder what the Oz market would be for fullsized 1500's and up if they were priced reasonably and competitively with the current offerings. It would likely shift to reflect US sales. You can't compare sales of vehicles in 2 markets if one market doesn't offer the same lineup. I think one of Al's links showed that a Ram 2500 was slated to cost almost $150k!!!! After it was converted to right hand drive. Gee, I wonder why Oz has few F series, Rams and Silverados driving around there. SMH

Personally,I never bought the ford line that the ranger just isn't needed here.I thought then as I do now,that it's a crock.They are just waiting quietly in the back round seeing where the midsize market is really going.When they see it's time,you'll see a brand new ranger ready to hit the auto shows,then the dealers.Of course this is just my feeling on the subject,but ford isn't about to let any grass grow under them and not break out an all new mower.

"When was the last time we highlighted or you saw an advertisement for a high-fuel-efficient model?"

Recently, Ford is quiet about it now that their Eco is not so Eco.
Different story at Ram where some models are more efficient than mini trucks and more capable with exclusive options.

Rams Eco is Eco,,Published on Apr 7, 2015

Stay thirsty my Ford friends. :-)

You pointed out some of the errors in the article, the Old US Ranger was a small Pickup, the current Global is a Midsize, approximately the size of an early '00 Ford F-150.

Ranger did not have the capability of towing a 26-30ft 5th wheeler, or carrying a Truck Camper suitable for a F250

Global variant now has almost Lariat type interior fittings. The Competition too it is going the same way each trying to out due each other

That being said, Globally there is no Global Ranger and a F150 sized variants selling at the same time
There is a much greater range Globally, that complements the Pickup segments

Gregory Stevens takes away all of my points, well said GS!

The FE story ran out of gas a few years ago.

People who were obsessed over fuel economy today have a vast array of choices. They just aren't into trucks that much. The economy is also not very optimistic these days.

If you have a product to sell to the top five or 10 percent of consumers, fine! But the average American family has not had a decent pay raise in a very long time. Despite all the happy BS you hear in the news about consumer confidence, the fact is that more American adults are NOT working than ever before.

The government subsidizes groceries and public transportation, but they don't subsidize you buying a new car anymore. That died with the Tax Reform Act of 1986.

This is not a dynamic market in the US today.

Ford is happy selling their Global Ranger in other places because the dynamics support that decision. They are smarter than some people give them credit for.

Same old arguments on both sides of the line drawn in the sand.

We do see small trucks have similar price tags to full sized and comparable mpg.

We've also seen a convergence in capacities. 1400-188 lb in the Colorado is definitely full sized capacity.

Ford looks at it from a profit basis...... will this product make me money?
They decided that the global Ranger or a variant is a non-starter for the USA.
VW has said that they would need to sell 100,000 Amarok's per year in the USA to make building a factory profitable.

Tim Esterdahl has not addressed the 800 lb gorilla in the room:
Small/midsized pickups currently are 90% the size (according to Ford) of the full sized pickup.
One can assume a 10% cost reduction?
Assembly costs are the same i.e. Tundra and Tacoma roll down the same line.
One can therefore assume that build costs are the same.
Global small trucks aren't the same as USA ones.... Why?
Tariffs, EPA, Safety Regulations. That has been compared to the cost equivalence of a 20-40% tariff. (Some countries have extremely poor safety regulations).

If one wants Global small trucks here then one needs homogenization of tariffs, emissions, and safety regulations.

That is the only way one can truly have a "GLOBAL" product.

Click bate.

Nothing more....... nothing less.

@papa him
The U.S. market is a far cry from what existed in 2007. I have heard that one reason, they did not consider the new Ford Everest to replace the current altered down US Explorer, is that U.S.consumers would find it too expensive. More of them are happy running around on those 2 litre stilts on wheels CUV's

"Tariffs, EPA, Safety Regulations. That has been compared to the cost equivalence of a 20-40% tariff. (Some countries have extremely poor safety regulations)"
China leads the charge here, then Malaysia. Brazil builds mini pickups based on compact cars.
The cars produced for a Global Audience from Thailand, South Africa have to meet current European standards

Boo hoo phillip

Ford, the next new Ford I'll buy is a Ford Ranger.

(Much to the dismay of many PUTC readers.)

again ford needs a true compact small small truck. A small truck based on a focus platform would be ideal.

front wheel drive and optional all wheel drive.No extra cab or extended cab needed just a basic small truck with a small bed that gets great gas mileage.Manual windows and locks and no carpet.A good simple stereo with ac being the only big option and they will sell more then they can produce.

The Chrysler rampage was a good idea way before its time that would be great in todays economy and over all basic truck needs.

Its odd that this article would appear... but I saw a brand new global Ford Ranger Crew Cab in Hawthorne, California on Wednesday morning (April 15th) as I was waiting to cross the street to SpaceX... It had what looked to be a paper Mexican license plates while waiting for the for real plates. It was not a manufacturers test vehicle.

US Buyers would take to this they will take to the Colorado / Canyon Diesel when it comes out in October!!

Sales people are smarter? LOL!
One thing is common with sales people, they can sell and it has nothing to do with what they know about the product.

Personally, I'm not a fan of Ford as a brand due to my past experience and communications with others about their reliability--or rather, lack of such.

On the other hand, I will admit I like the look of the Ranger above simply because it doesn't carry an oversized grill proclaiming, "Look at me! I'm a Big Boy Now!" Then again, the Chevy Colorado carries a much more streamlined and subdued look as well and I like it for the same reason--as compared to the GMC Canyon.

Interestingly, I told my wife just today that we still need a pickup truck, despite having just sold our now-officially-antique F-150 back in November. I also told her that if I had to make a choice today, it would be the Colorado. I still have a need to carry things that simply won't fit in my JKU, despite the fact that even now it's carrying about 300# of paving stones and bagged mulch. Things like 8' to 10' sticks of old lumber and scrap wood. I want a decently compact truck not too different from the '90s-vintage Chevy, Ford or Dodge and the new designs are just not small enough. Yes, an extended cab stretches the old models about 18", but that's still shorter than the modern equivalents and didn't force you to use a step-stool to climb in, either. (Or the running boards that seem now to be almost a standard 'feature'.)

IF Ford brought this new Ranger in and IF I can get past my habitual dislike of "F. O. R. D. -- the meaning behind the anagram", then the Ranger would go onto my radar as a possibility if I am ever 'forced' to pick among the lesser of evils.

The reason Tony wasn't pushed to buy a full size is profit. The Colorado at near MSRP made a bigger profit than the Silverado with 6-8,000 off the hood. Ford will never bring the Ranger back because the f-150 is the most expensive truck to buy with very little discount. They are making huge profits on that truck.

Ford has invested a lot in the aluminum F-150 and is reluctant to bring over the global Ranger to compete with the F-150. I like the global Ranger but I am not holding my breath to wait for one. I like the current midsize trucks on the market and the Colorado for the most part checks all the boxes. I have been without a Ford product for the last 2 years and I don't really have a desire to buy another one even though the last two Fords I owned were not bad. GM has in recent years introduced much improved models and I could see buying a Colorado.

Ford: stick a F-100 badge on it, build a crew cab with a 6.5' bed and make "Ranger" the top trim level. Nuff said!

Too late. Ford already lost the Ranger loyalists. I've owned Rangers my whole life and when it was time to upgrade this year, I got a Canyon. I've never liked GM trucks, but they hit this one out of the park. I don't want an F-150. They seem like Super Dutys now. Ford f***ed up.

Agree, I think it is too late and unless Ford starts testing Ranger mules in noticeable numbers in the US then Ford will not bring the Ranger to the US. I think after the F-150 is in full production you will see some factory incentives on the 2015 F-150s because both GM and Ram will keep up the incentives. Also there are fleet sales which Ford will maintain. There will be heated competition between GM, Ram and Ford.

If they don't bring the diesel with it, and three pedals, they can keep it.

Seems to me that Ford in an increasing state of crisis.

The new aluminum F150 is not going well (low quality and poorer sales), major quality problems with the current Super Duty’s and it too will be aluminum soon enough with even more problems.

If they attempted to bring the Ranger (steel or aluminum) to the States now; it could be the nail in the coffin?

Ford wanted only 1 pickup to count in their sales. That is the 150. They did nothing to the Ranger for over 15 years & they did not care. Compact pickups were less than 200 inches long. The now so called mid size pickup is over 208+ inches long. Compact pickups originally provided a customer a affordable option compared to a full size pickup. It also had better fuel #s too. Ford should be ashamed of themselves for what they did to the loyal Ranger consumer base. Ford left then stranded on a small island with no option but to go the competition. Ford had a lot to do with increases in sales for Nissan & Toyota when they decided to put the Ranger to rest.

It absolutely amazes me about some of the above bloggers' comments. One just sold his "antique" Ford truck and wouldnt buy another Ford. A vehicle lasted 20 years and you wouldnt buy another of that brand??? I appreciate Chevy customers.
They continue to buy vehicles from the "recall king". Please continue to buy them so that GM makes a profit so that I (the
American taxpayer) can get my money back. Assuming that they do pay it back. 38 years in a row, Ford has been the number 1 selling truck. Last year Ford outsold the GM twins COMBINED, despite GM having over 50% more dealers. In regards to the Ranger, while I would love to see that, The whole small truck market is a minor one and if Ford jumped into it, Ford, Chevy, Toyota and Nissan would all split it up and no one would make a profit. Let each manufacturer produce what they sell best and all be profitable.

The global ranger is nothing like the old ranger. At all. It's almost ridiculous to say they should bring the ranger "back". I'd be all for them bringing back a compact truck that costs little and gets great mileage. The rest of the world can keep their ranger. I want a compact truck.

I totally agree with you that the old Ranger is nothing like the global Ranger.

I do believe that Ford will lose out by not entering into the midsize market.

These new midsizers can do what most (75% US) expect from a full size.

The Ranger is arguably the best pickup from the Ford camp, as it can carry a respectable load, tow a reasonable load and has superior FE in comparison to the aluminium F-150.

The global Ranger shows that Ford can make a very competitive steel pickup and this makes one wonder why Ford went to aluminium.

This would place an even larger burden on the expensive aluminium F-150. This Ford can't allow to happen.

But, Ford will lose out to the newer midsizers from Nissan and Toyota. Ford will lose out some of the light HD sales to the Titan.

This is what can occur when a huge market is reliant on so few suppliers.

As nice as the aluminium F-150 is, it will not be able to compete against a steel Silverado/Ram, or even a new steel Colorado Canyon.

There are too many commenters and motoring writers who are over playing the fact that the new aluminium F-150 is aluminium, so what. Does a steel pickup still achieve what the aluminium F-150 can? Yes. Even a diesel Ram has superior FE.

If they do drop prices, then I would sell my Ford shares. The aluminium F-150 will sell in large numbers, but not the numbers Ford used to sell. Ford will have to adjust and get used to playing second or even third fiddle.

Maybe if Ford had the global Ranger available in the US it would stay at the top ;)

I do realise this information is hard for you to digest as a Frodman.

Maybe, just maybe if the US could free up it's light commercial vehicle segment Ford would bring the global Ranger into the US. Competition would force Ford to.

Gotta love real and free competition, as it drives the manufacturers to provide the best to the consumers.

@Big Al

so, why did Ford do so poorly with the old Sport Trac?

Midsize, crew cab, choice of V8 or six. Independent rear suspension for several years, all wheel disc brakes. It was a bit ahead of its time but that shouldn't have killed it.

It should have done well if your notions about the mid size market in America are correct.

@papa jim--The Sports Trac had a much smaller bed than any truck on the market except a Subaru Baja. Ford should have offered a crew cab version of the Ranger instead. I do think Ford is vulnerable with the new F-150 putting all their eggs in one basket with a more expensive truck and with Ram and GM smelling blood. I don't think the F-150 is another Edsel but they will not do the volume that Ford anticipates and Ford will be forced to discount in order to move the volume. At the present Ford has to go with the current plan and wait for full production to get a true picture but I don't think the Global Ranger would help now because even if they decided to green light it, it would take a few years to get it on the market and by then it might not be enough.

@Jeff S sorry but with all due respect, you are mistaken.

The smart guys at Ford saw what happened with the crew cab S10 back between 2001 and 2004.

It didn't sell.

It also couldn't even get 20mpg hwy. You can disagree about the Sport Trac but it didn't sell either. You can disagree about the Dakota, but for the final years of its existence it didn't sell either. Ditto for the Ranger.

My last Ranger was a new 2010 bought in late 2009. Apart from being a supercab and having a five sp auto trans, it was a stripped truck, strictly business. The MSRP was over 20k. You could buy a regular cab 150 V8 at that time for the same dough.

Moral to the story Jeff--the economic motives that drove buyers to the compact trucks 30 years ago are gone. As the author of the story points out, even Fuel Economy has ceased to be the driver of business that it once was.

If it was renamed the F100, it would give a bertter idea of what it is. A Pickup , not as big as a F150

The market has changed, but who says OEMs aren't smarter too? There's obviously demand for a US/NA Ranger now, to the tune of up to 120,000 Rangers a year. That's plenty to justify a FWD, unibody car that shares a platform and drivetrain with others in the brand/group, except body-on-frame pickup trucks are crazy expensive to build.

But who say's there's not equal demand for the F-150 in the markets the Ranger serves?

Ford is sticking to their guns for a reason. GM is into a lot of niche segments they probably shouldn't. Except having the only USA *home team* midsize on the market could be a smart move. Especially anywhere that's not the west coast.

So why would sales people try to steer a customer away from a $40,000 *anything*? Sounds like excellent commission to me!

But the price difference gets muddied by way more aggressive fullsize rebates. And a Crew Cab midsize is more similar to an Extra Cab fullsize, except narrow. And the fuel economy of midsize pickups drops off dramatically as you step up to 4wd and Crew Cab.

It is a mini mystery where Colorado/Canyon buyers are coming from, but it shouldn't be hard to note what they trade in. It has to be the lifestyle/hairdresser autos.

"There's obviously demand for a US/NA Ranger now, to the tune of up to 120,000 Rangers a year. That's plenty to justify a FWD, unibody car that shares a platform and drivetrain with others in the brand/group, except body-on-frame pickup trucks are crazy expensive to build."
Thought there was no demand? FWD Unibody?

@Robert Ryan - If 3 dudes and 1 chick would buy it, that's "demand". But 120K couldn't really justify it, unless it was a FWD unibody that shared a platform with a car, SUV/CUV, etc. Or unless you're GM with with another death wish.

@Jeff S - The Sport Trac was largely ignored by the public, but its tiny bed was not much smaller than the other midsize crew cabs of its day, or lifespan. Buyers that truly needed more bed volume and 2+2 seating, likely weren't looking for anything less than a 1/2 ton extra cab.

"Robert Ryan - If 3 dudes and 1 chick would buy it, that's "demand". But 120K couldn't really justify it, unless"
Toyota sells 150,000 Tacomas, leading vehicle in segment,is highly profitable

@Big Al from Oz,
The Sports Trac is based on the Explorer, itself quite uncompetitive outside of the US due to quality issues.

Why do you need such a large number of pickups to be sold to make it profitable?

Our midsizers are cheaper than in the US and our largest seller is only 30 000 units per year.

The US could easily sell a pickup that sells 20 000 per year if it was imported. For argument's sake, the BT50 would be a good vehicle in the US, even if it sold 20 000 per year as the vehicle is made for other nations.

This is platform sharing like DiM has alluded to. This is the best platform share arrangement as the vehicles are essentially the same across different borders.

@BAFO - The US is a hostile marketplace for OEMs, even for homegrown domestics. Americans demand cheap with rebates piled high. And it's extremely competitive. There's nothing stopping Peugeot for importing 2,000 cars a year here. Nor Renault, that could easily piggyback USA/NA Nissan dealers.

And we don't want a car that's quickly orphaned with an abandoned warranty and no more dealer support. That's happened too many times. Then already low resale value goes straight into the toilet.

The unreliable are quickly shamed and bashed by consumers.

It's tough for a global OEM to come to the US and stay. Many have zero intentions of coming to the US nor coming back for more abuse.

Even OEMs that have deep roots here in the US (Ford, VW, GM, Audi, Toyota, BMW, Merc, Mitsu, etc) can't see bringing all their global cars here. They have to choose their lineup very carefully, as it's a high stakes game. Lots of winners and lots of losers.

The Sport Trac was as reliable as the Ranger. It had to be Ford testing the waters on a global style pickup.

@papa jim--No, you are greatly mistaken the bed on the Sports Trac could not fit a riding lawn mower but the bed of any crew cab midsize truck will easily accommodate a riding lawn or tractor mower. I know several people who had them and they asked to borrow my S-10 or Mighty Max to haul their tractor mowers to the repair shop. The bed on the Sport Trac needed to be as large as the current Global Ranger or Colorado. Also the truck was overpriced for what it was. The Sports Trac is comparable to a Subaru Baja except the Baja would be much better off road. Ford should have saved the monorey and either offered a crew cab Ranger or not offer anything at all. I use the beds in my trucks for lawn equipment so I know what will fit in a truck bed. I have hauled creek rock, gravel, sand, mulch, tractor lawn mowers, large rototillers, lumber, paving stones, tile, home heating and cooling systems and more using a compact or midsize pickup with an 8 ft or 6 ft bed. I never could have hauled any of the items I mentioned in a Sports Trac. Papa Jim, how much have you hauled in your truck and how often do you haul large bulky items? I have done a lot and at the time I considered getting an old large single cab pickup just to haul things but when I got my S-10 I relegated my single cab 8 ft long bed Mitsubishi Mighty Max to those chores at at 200k miles I would say that I got more than my money's worth. Again the bed on a Sports Trac was more for groceries with a bed that can be used for little else. My Isuzu has a smaller bed than my S-10 but it is capable of hauling most of what I need and the Isuzu's bed is larger than a Sports Trac. Some of us want a smaller truck but one that at least has some hauling capacity.

@Robert Ryan--I didn't know that the Global Ranger was front wheel drive and I thought the term "Global" meant the "World"? Why would a Global Ranger cost much more to develop if it has been developed for a World market, I would think that most of the development costs for the Ranger had already been incurred? Maybe Denver Mike has a different definition of "Global" than what I have heard in the past. Also from what I read the Ranger is rear wheel drive with a 4 wheel drive optional. I don't think a 120k annual units for a vehicle that has had most of the development costs incurred is that bad. How many Lincoln models do you see with that kind of volume. Something doesn't have to sell a million units if the development costs have been incurred. Now if we were talking about the aluminum body F-150 that costs a couple of billion then yes a 120k annual volume would be a flop. Denver Mike needs to consider developing a totally new product is more expensive and requires larger volume to break even than taking an existing product and modifying it for a different market which requires less volume to break even.

@Denver Mike--Provide information backing up your position that midsize trucks are the domain of hair dressers. Most hairdressers do not buy new and if you really knew what you were talking about you would know that older models of Grand Ams, Grand Prixs, Taurus, Escorts, Focus, Cavalier, Stratus, Avenger, Chrysler 200, Explorers, Trailblazers, Blazers, and a host of other offerings from pay as you go lots.

How do you know all the former Ranger buyers are going to buy a more expensive aluminum body F-150? Many former Ranger buyers are buying other midsize trucks, cuvs, and Ram and GM trucks. It is arrogant of Ford to think that they will automatically keep those Ranger owners as customers and if I were a Ranger owner I would be offended by Ford's arrogance with that attitude. Ford is learning that GM and Ram see an opportunity to gain market share and are circling Ford like a group of hungry sharks.

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