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Looking for the 2012 Ford Ranger? It's the 2011 Ford F-150

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2011 Ford F-150 Harley-Davidson Edition

2011 Ford F-150 Harley-Davidson Edition

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Though fewer and fewer car shoppers are researching and purchasing today's Ford Ranger compact pickup truck, the decision to let the Ranger die next year in the U.S. still raises questions as to why Ford isn't working on a new small pickup, particularly when Ford's revived the Taurus and Explorer.

They have been working on a Ranger replacement--though it's actually disguised as the new V-6 version of the 2011 Ford F-150.

The new F-150 lineup changes little on the outside, but under the hood, Ford's installing four new engines. It's the biggest powertrain changeover in more than 60 years of full-size trucks, Ford says. Among those engines are massively powerful V-8s with 360 horsepower and more, as well as a turbocharged EcoBoost V-6 with 365 hp and best-in -class towing capacity.

The new F-150 displaces the Ranger most directly with models powered by a 3.7-liter V-6, which will be available in XL, SXT and XLT trims.

2009 Ford Ranger XL

2009 Ford Ranger XL

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Death of the compacts

Sales in the compact corner of the truck world have been sagging for a decade. While makers like Toyota, Nissan and Dodge have upsized their formerly small trucks into mid-size territory, a few makes--Chevy, GMC and Ford--have continued to sell their existing, aging compact trucks.

The end is near for these vehicles. GM hasn't confirmed the final disposition of its Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon twins, but their production base in Shreveport, La., is due to close by 2012. The same fate awaits the Ford Ranger, which has been built in St. Paul, Minn., for years, and will be until late next year, when Ford shutters the facility.

With Ranger sales hovering at about 75,000 units a year, there's simply not enough sales volume to design a new compact replacement that would share little, if anything, with other vehicles in the Ford lineup. Ford has confirmed a new Ranger for markets outside the U.S.--but Darryl Kuzak, Ford's vice president of global product development, says that Ranger won't come to the U.S. because it's nearly as large as the F-150, and can't be imported cheaply enough to make a strong sales case.

Kuzak also says that in the bigger picture, compact truck buyers aren't necessarily looking for a truck bed--just flexibility. With new offerings from the 2011 Fiesta to the 2010 Ford Transit Connect and the upcoming 2012 Ford C-Max, Ford believes, ultimately, it can address all Ranger buyers with a different vehicle it already sells.


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Comments (14)
  1. It's a mistake to let the Ranger name die. Instead, use the new Focus or C-Masx or whatever platform (whichever fits better) and develop a thoroughly modern front-wheel drive Ranger with the newer 4-cylinder, and a turbo option that appeals to the young crowd, with all the Sync and high-tech toys the under 30 crowd want. It would be a HUGE hit. Offer an all-wheel drive version eventually - maybe with a V6 or just keep the turbo-4 as the top of the line version. So what if it costs as much as a base F-150, it would draw a different buyer profile entirely. The fact that no one else is willing to do it is reason to do it - be a LEADER, not a follower Ford!
     
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  2. If the auto companies spent half as much of their standard pickup advertising on compact pickups, sales would probably be several times higher than now. When is the last time anyone saw a TV ad for a Ranger or Dakota?
     
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  3. If you're gonna kill the Ranger, at least give us a last shot at a decent one, say a 3.7 litre version to close it out?
     
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  4. How about dropping a pickup bed onto the Transit Connect?
     
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  5. Ford may not make alot of money on the sales side but they make a ton of money on the parts and service side.
     
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  6. I think this Kuzak guy drew numbers out of a hat and made his own decision on how he feels. #1 reason you dont sell many Rangers is you dont market the Ranger hardly at all. Imagine what would happen if you marketed Rangers like Steve Jobs does with Ipads and Iphones, imagine what would happen if you actually updated it some. Ford some do not have garages to fit a F150 in, Ranger is the right size truck. Perhaps you should think again Kuzak and Fields!
     
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  7. Whoever decided to kill the Ranger should be given their walking papers. Rangers don't sell now because they are horribly outdated, particularly the powertrains and suspension. Due to this they don't even bother to market them. I don't know how an F150 with a small engine is a Ranger replacement? It's oversized and underpowered. I would rather have a smaller vehicle I can park downtown and in my garage, and I need the utility of a 4x4 truck. Ford does not have anything else in their lineup that will fit the bill. Looks like it is going to be Tacoma for me. :(
     
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  8. Never thought about even tring to garage my F150 but hey Ford listen up.. I have 2 car garage and a baby on the way.... My F150 is paid for and not fitting my needs.. a smaller 4 door pickup with a 5.5 bed would fill my needs, that fits into the garage.. Diesel backed up with a stick.. seats 5 in a pinch... sounds great to me.. hope VW is listining.. Toyota and Nissan seem to have over looked the market too.. Some one needs to put a nice small truck out there and see what happens.. with some marketing and gas mileage. Be fun to see what happens
     
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  9. Really dumb move on Ford's part to drop the Ranger. The F-150 is NOT and never will be considered by most Ranger buyers. Too big. Too much. Too thirsty.
     
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  10. I agree that its nothing less then a mistake by ford. They have issues pushing the "bigger is better" idea. I use my trusty Ranger in the bush, where a bigger truck could not even dream of going. I dont know where they are doing their research, but I know lots of Ranger owners that would kill for the European diesel and crew cab option. Sad to say, from how its looking, my next truck will be a Frontier.
     
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  11. I will never ever by a full size truck in my life. They are way too big. Ford if you want the truck to sell. Bring the new Australian F-100 to North America, give us that new 3.7Lv6, make a turbocharged 4 cyl gas and 4 cyl turbo diesel. Then it will sell.
    I just hope Nissan and Toyota won't kill their small trucks like Ford and GM are doing.
     
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  12. After 40 years of customer loyalty, Ford is telling me that they no longer need my business. I have had six Rangers and a Sport Trac over the years and now they think that they can make me buy a F-150. WRONG! Thanks for nothing, Ford.
     
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  13. The mid-sized truck market is the most overlooked and neglected segment of consumers. Maybe $4.00 per gallon gasoline will cause some manufactureres to rethink their big-is-best strategy. I would jump on a Ranger like this... 4X4...diesel... 6 speed... here's betting someone will recognize the demand in the USA
     
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  14. So the Ranger will be sold in about 180 countries just not Canada or the U.S. Countries like Belize, Congo, Madagascar, Syria, Egypt, Chad, Chili, Belarus, all foreign countries to where Ford started and we can't get no Ranger here. I think somebody at Ford should have a real long look in the mirror> I'm sure Henry is rolling in his grave over this dumbest of asses decision. F..k I hate Ford now.
     
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