manager of truck communications, tells PickupTruck.com that
reports of the Ranger's death are a bit premature.
only announced that the plant will now be closed in 2009 instead
of 2008 as previously planned. We are studying the compact
truck market and will announce plans closer to the plant closing,"
says Mr. Sherwood.
News is reporting that Ford Motor Company will end production of
the Ford Ranger compact pickup at the end of the 2009 model year.
Ranger was first produced in 1983, a year after General
Motors introduced its Chevrolet S-10 and GMC S-15 small trucks. They
all replaced Japanese imports in their lineups and went head-to-head
with competitive offerings from Toyota and Datsun (which later became
It was lessons
learned from the Arab oil embargo and gas crunch of the 1970s that
drove Ford to build the Ranger. It was designed to look like
the full size F-Series pickup and could carry a four-foot wide sheet
of plywood in its cargo box while getting better fuel economy from
a four-cylinder engine.
became enormously popular. It passed the Japanese and domestic competition
in sales to lead the segment from 1987 to 2004 - peaking at
348,000 units sold in 1999.
But as fuel
prices slowly dropped and the economy boomed,
demand for small pickups began to slide, after peaking around 1.1-million
units in 1999. Why buy a small truck when,
for a few thousand dollars more, buyers could own a full size?
even with gasoline prices rapidly reapproaching inflation adjusted
all-time-highs, the Ford Ranger hasn't been able to regain sales traction.
It hasn't seen a major mechanical update since 1998, while all of its
competitors have been replaced with entirely new platforms and powertrains.
Ranger's year-to-date sales are down 20.9% compared to 2006, to only
will be halted at the end of the 2009 model year, when Ford's
Twin Cities factory in St. Paul, Minnesota is closed.