While the rest of the world recently got a new generation Ford Ranger compact pickup, the U.S. soldiers on with the long-in-the-tooth Ranger that many Ford fans know and love. But what can we in the U.S. expect with regard to a replacement for this venerable compact workhorse?
Recently, fellow High Gear Media blogger Tim Healey posted here at AllPickupTrucks.com regarding the rumblings from the automotive rumor mill that Ford would soon put the Ranger pickup out to pasture for good. Now, there’s no need to fear that Ford is planning on just abandoning this market segment. After all, in spite of its being nearly ancient in terms of vehicle model cycles, the Ranger is the only domestic compact pickup to even remotely compare to the sales volume of Toyota Tacoma, the undisputed sales king of compact pickups.
Nope, Ford is not about to concede market share for lack of a competent product offering for the compact pickup buying public. The upcoming Ranger replacement is rumored to be none other than a lower-end version of the full-size Ford F-150 pickup that will fill the slot left by Ranger in capability and price.
But let’s not be too hasty to write Ranger’s epitaph. On Tuesday, January 26, 2010 at the Washington, D.C. Auto Show, Ford’s own Alan Mulally provided a bit of insight that would suggest the Ford Ranger still has a fighting chance. On a live webcast of John McElroy’s Autoline Live on location at the auto show, Mr. McElroy asked Mr. Mulally a question from an online viewer regarding the prospect of an F-100 pickup truck slotting in below the F-150 but above the current Ranger space. At about one hour and fifty-six minutes into the webcast, which may be viewed HERE at the Autoline Detroit website, Mulally responded by lauding the new Ranger pickup, which was recently introduced for international markets. He indicated that there are still a lot of people here in the States that love their Rangers, so Ford is still considering its options regarding how to fill this market niche.
Stay tuned to AllPickupTrucks.com as we monitor the Ford Ranger/F-100 situation. We’ll do our best to keep you posted with both official and unofficial buzz.