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Old September 16th, 2015, 08:19 AM
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Thumbs up The Ranger May Come Back

A lot has changed in the last 12 months. Not only have the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon been well received — winning several prestigious awards (namely the PickupTrucks.com Best Pickup of 2014 and Motor Trend's Truck of the Year) — but combined sales of the new midsize pickup trucks are on target to break the 100,000 unit mark by the end of the year, beating just about all the industry predictions. Add to that the fact that the perennial favorite in the segment, the 2016 Toyota Tacoma, has just come to market as an all-new, significantly advanced pickup, and it's no wonder this segment is attracting more interest.

For those reasons alone it should come as no surprise that The Detroit News is reporting that Ford is likely to bring the Ranger midsize pickup back to the U.S. by 2018, and it most likely will be produced in Wayne, Mich., just north of the Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport.

The Ford Ranger was last sold in the states in 2012; it suffered from poor performance and construction. With the exception of a few styling and interior upgrades, the Ranger that abandoned the U.S. compact/midsize pickup segment hadn't really been improved since it came to market in 1993. Since then the segment and industry have gone through several significant changes, not the least of which was four-door models becoming the norm and half-ton pricing dropping significantly. As to the global Ranger — which enjoys considerable popularity in other parts of the world like Australia, South America and Africa — it's not clear what changes might be made to make it a more competitive player in the U.S., especially given the fact that the four-door model is not much smaller than some F-150 models.

Other automakers seem to be eyeing the midsize segment, suggesting that the small truck market could grow, making more options available to buyers. Hyundai has been playing with the Santa Cruz concept; many reports state it will be available in just a few years. Likewise, speculation about Jeep shopping a new pickup truck concept to its dealership network has some predicting another new midsize pickup (and we're guessing a very off-road capable one) is on the way; that assumes parent company Fiat Chrysler Automobiles can figure out where to make it.

Whether this speculation is real or imagined, it could mean entry-level pickup truck buyers will be the ones who benefit the most as more truckmakers get competitive with existing pickup pricing. From where we sit, having a "Jeep capable" midsize pickup could work for buyers looking for a work-duty family addition. For those who don't need all the "truckiness" of a traditional pickup, something like a sport-utility truck, lifestyle player could be appealing. And we absolutely think there's still plenty of room for a capability-first, downsized F-150 if Ford wants to re-enter the midsize market.

Given how conservative this segment has been during the last 10 years (the Honda Ridgeline excluded), getting a few more options will be a good thing for a truck sector that desperately needs to be shaken up.


According to the folks at the Detroit News, the Ford Ranger could return to the US market sometime in 2018 or 2019, with production based at the Wayne Assembly Plant which currently builds the Ford Focus – but when the Focus production moves to Mexico, the Ranger could return to the Motor City and the United States.
The Ford Ranger has been gone for a few years now and the Twin Cities Assembly plant which built the Ranger has since been closed and torn down. Ford insists that those folks who would have normally bought a Ranger will instead buy an F150, but with the F150 prices rising right along with the popularity of other midsized trucks like the Toyota Tacoma and the Chevrolet Colorado, it looks as though the Motor Company is having a change of heart.
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Ford is currently in talks with the auto workers union as they work for a new labor contract and it seems that one of the key bargaining chips for both parties is the rebirth of the Ranger in the US market.
Ranger Could Come to Detroit
Ford Motor Company announced in July that production of the popular Focus and the not-so-popular C-Max would be moving from the Wayne Assembly Plant in Michigan to Mexico in 2018. Needless to say, that caused some concerns within the UAW ranks, as losing the bulk of the production vehicles from Wayne would likely kill the plant.
Well, Ford is currently in contract talks with the UAW and in those talks, the company is considering a US return for the midsized Ranger and if it does return – it would likely do so in time to be built at Wayne Assembly in 2018 when the Focus and C-Max move to Mexico.
Clear Demand for the Ranger
Ford killed off the Ranger after the 2012 model year, citing a lack of demand for a small pickup truck combined with increased interest and acceptance of the larger F150. Basically, as the Ranger got bigger and more well-appointed, the price of the Ranger was overlapping with the F150 and, according to Ford, those people should just buy an F150. This was the same basic factor that killed off the Dodge Dakota, as the Ram does more without costing much more.
That works for some buyers, as the least expensive Ford F150 in 2013 and 2014 wasn’t much more expensive than the 2012 Ranger, while being more capable, roomier and, in some cases, more fuel efficient. The problem is that for those folks buying base model midsized pickups, the Ranger offered a low price that you just cannot get from the F150 – especially the 2015 F150. Because of that, budget buyers who want a midsized truck are forced to look elsewhere.
Over the past few years, the Toyota Tacoma has positioned itself as the undisputed king of the midsized pickups, but the new Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon have proven to be very successful – leading to a spike in midsized truck sales. Not surprisingly, in seeing this increased popularity in smaller trucks, Ford is revisiting the return of a Ranger to the US.
Ranger’s Return to the US
While a return of the Ford Ranger to the US makes perfect sense with the current buying trends in the industry, people shouldn’t get too excited yet. First of all, this return is currently being used as a bargaining chip in union negotiations, so this is far from official news of a guaranteed Ranger return to the US. More importantly, even if the Ranger does return, with production set to begin in 2018, it would likely be a 2019 model year vehicle. This means that at best, we are still three years away from seeing a new Detroit-built Ranger at your local Ford dealership.
Source: Detroit News

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Last edited by JSoko; September 16th, 2015 at 08:24 AM.
Old September 16th, 2015, 01:23 PM
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harrison28 harrison28 is offline

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they should come up with a Raptor styled Ranger or Sport Trac. obviously it should be somewhat cheaper.
Old September 24th, 2015, 07:05 AM
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Can't wait to see it in the market.

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