Maybe Ford has a better idea after all

They are looking at bringing back the Ranger. I thought it was a mistake when they dropped it. I am disappointed that it will probably be of unibody construction. I had a '61 unibody Ford pickup about 20 years ago. I was warned not to load it heavily.

Ford only stopped offering it in the US. Sales were horrible and it was hard to justify updating a truck that few people wanted. That just made even fewer people want it. When the Ranger was redesigned for the rest of the world, it was too close in size to the F150, and Ford wasn’t about to erode F-series sales and lose their lead in pickup sales to GM.

Ford dropped the ball on the Ranger. When I looked at new pickups in 2002, I drove both a Ranger and a Tacoma. The Tacoma had better styling and was just a nicer truck. The Ranger styling just seemed stale. I wanted to like it but I just couldn’t. The Ranger was tempting only because it was cheaper but I knew if I bought it I’d be regretting not shelling out the extra cash for the Tacoma.

Probably lots of buyers had the same reaction to the Ranger.

…he said, as the tacomas were breaking in half from rusted frames

Ford has been selling their “New” Ranger overseas for several years. It’s very popular in foreign markets…The F-150 is the most profitable vehicle Ford makes and they are NOT about to compete with themselves in the U.S. truck market…

@wes, hah, fortunately I had to sell the Tacoma before the frame rusted.

Dropping the Ranger is not the first time that a manufacturer dropped out of a viable market segment after assuming that the problem was lack of demand in the segment rather than the vehicle itself.

As with almost all things, the problem is myopic management, myopic management, and myopic management.

It’s disappointing to hear that any potential US market Ranger would be smaller than the new Colorado

It almost sounds like it would be a tiny, worthless and pointless POS

$5000 cheaper than an F150, but for a tiny truck, doesn’t exactly sound like a good deal

Might be better off spending the $5000 and getting a base F150, which is built better, anyway

Maybe Ford had better stay out of the small truck market, if they’re not going to give it a good effort.

If you’re going to do something, do it right

If Ford had updated the Ranger, as they should have, it would have been more competitive. And maybe there would have been more buyers.

@db4690 If it’s smaller than the F150 and cheaper there could be a market but it might not be enough for Ford. The Ranger still had a market in the later years but other than being able to get more features for your money, When dad was looking in around 2003 i think it was you could get a ranger supercab 4dr with the 3.0v6 (or the 4.0 for a little more) at around $3,000 less than the Toyota before any discounts or rebates. What made him rethink the purchase was that the other side of the lower price is that you were still looking at the same basic dash as the Fleet special. If Ford had done something like what they offered for the interiors of the F150 (make each trim look and feel different) they could have made a sale. Of course he dragged his feet and after abandoning the idea of a small truck for daily driving bought a Honda CRV and kept the 8ft utility trailer to serve as the truck bed. The Ranger sells well overseas because it’s all they really need for a truck. The chassis cab transit with a bed was the closest thing to a F150 that I encountered last year in the UK. Both Ford and Ram have decided to make improvements to the full size trucks to attract those who want better mpg out of their trucks.

Small pickups sold decently for decades. As full-size pickups have grown larger there is even more potential for a useful smaller truck. Plenty of businesses used small trucks in the past and could use them now, saving money and being easier to park in cities. I doubt this will be a big seller for Ford, but if they need it for other markets it won’t cost much to sell it here. The Transit Connect seemed an even more unlikely product and I see quite a few of them in use by carpet cleaners, drain cleaners, and repairmen.

The inter-brand bed size and capacity competition has made the …’‘half ton’’…pickup too dang big.
too tall at the bed rail in particular and grandma can’t hoist the laundry over anymore.

This town wants the Ranger back. On my way to work in the morning I can point to three Rangers in four blocks. Six at work in the employee lots. My inventory guy uses his 4x4 for hunting and toting his ATV easily in the bed and even he does not want a huge half ton.

across the street from me , the Hamilton brothers have had Rangers as long as I can remember…and the bought them from me…and we hire their paving company.
now what ?
As long as they buy from any of the local dealers I really don’t mind but You can clearly see the next lost customer.

I’m with Ken on this. I’ve always much preferred small pickups. Pure utility at an affordable prices. The “mine’s bigger than yours” philosophy took over some years back (I think when Dodge came out with the “big truck” look) and the new pickups from all the manufacturers are just too darned big in all aspects. The F100s of the '60s had just as much utility as the new “big truck” half-ton pickups with far lower (adjusted) prices, far easier access and egress, and far easier load and unload heights. Actually, as I look at the points I’ve just made, I would argue that they had MORE utility. And they had far better driver visibility too.

Maybe it’s not a matter of Ford having a better idea so much as it is coming to the realization they screwed the pooch by discontinuing the model. :slight_smile:

In spite of the demand for larger trucks around here there has always been a healthy market for the smaller ones like the Rangers, S-10s, Sonomas, and so on.

If you do not like Rangers fine. I regret not buying a new one before they were discontinued. The used ones on the market in my area are listing for outrageous prices. I did purchase a new Nissan Frontier SV for a few thousand over the used Ranger prices. Due to a knee replacement that did go well getting in and out of the current Ford F150 is a difficult task. I wish the Frontier was a couple of inches lower but it is manageable.

WhenI look at pickups from the 40s and 50s , that is the size I would like to buy. You didn’t have to do a clean and jerk to get something up in the bed and they didn’t block the vision of anything shorter than a Mack truck.

They would also tow and pull stumps.

Oldtimer, you’re a man after my own heart.

The old pickups are proof that you don’t need a pickup the size of an army tank to haul garbage to the dump.

A guy I used to run around back in the 70s had a '54 Ford pickup and one night while running around with him in that heap we met a couple of girls. One eventually became and still is my wife.
Jury’s still out on whether old Ford pickups suck or not… :wink:

Yours was apparently the perfect vehicle.
Perhaps I should seek out a '54 pickup… {:wink:

Plus 2 for old timer 11. Too bad they already flattened the St. Paul plant where they were made. Real history there and they demoed it. I guess maybe the figured to compete with Gm they had to do a smaller one. Maybe a stude retro would be nice.

I’d be more interested in buying a small pickup than a big one. The big ones are great if you need to haul a lot of stuff, or heavy stuff. Like if you own a business where you have to move a lot of heavy stuff around, like a roofing or plumbing business. But for urban folk who just want to haul a load of household debris to the dump one in a while, or a load of compost for the garden, or help a neighbor move their hot water heater from the store to their home, a small one is a better choice for that. It takes less parking space, is easier to maneuver in traffic, and is easier to park in crowded mall parking lots. Probably gets better mpg and easier and less expensive to fix when it breaks too.