The Ford Ranger is definitely one of the oldest vehicles in Ford’s current lineup. The truck hasn’t received a major redesign since 1993 and since the small truck segment has been shrinking, Ford hasn’t redesigned it. The current plant that Ford builds the Ranger in is slated to be closed in 2008. So what will happen to the Ranger?
Ford hasn’t provided any details on their future plans for the truck. There are other similarly sized products that Ford sells in other countries that they could use as the basis for the truck here. Such as the Mazda BT-50 that is built in Thailand. Here’s what it looks like in the UK: UK Ford Ranger The main issue with that would be the cost factor. Importing the truck into the US would reduce the profits that Ford could make on the truck, due to import tariffs.
Ford could also tap into one of their other plants, such as the one that builds the Ford Explorer to build a new Ranger. Sales of that SUV are significantly lower this year, so they should have the extra capacity.
The other issue is the fact that most of the buyers that would look at the Ranger, could move up to the larger F-150 for a little more money. Therefore they usually ignore the Ranger, especially since the Ranger is so outdated.
It’s amazing that the small truck segment is decreasing, since gas prices are at record levels. The larger trucks take a lot more gas, which would make the smaller versions seem more attractive for buyers that don’t need to haul or tow a lot. Toyota’s Tacoma is selling well, which should give Ford some motivation to remain in the segment.
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