Monday, November 26, 2007

So it's finally going to end in 2009?

I suspect that I'll be among a small group that mourns the passing of the Ford Ranger. But I've been reading lately that 2009 will be the end for the North American Ford Ranger. It's a shame really, but it's not really a surprise. For the last few years Ford North America has let the Ranger become obsolete, not investing anything in the platform, relegating the Ranger to the bargain bin and to fleet sales. Introduced in 1983 as a replacement for their Mazda sourced Courier compact truck, the Ranger went on to be a dominant force in compact pickups, not only here in North America, but around the world. Evolution was slow for the truck, but evolve it did, with gradual improvements across the board, power, comfort and styling, that is until about 2002, when only minor improvements in the cab size and power were the final real changes. It's been mostly trim pieces that have changed since then. I've been a vocal critic of Ford's abandonment of the "Compact" pickup market. But considering that none of these trucks are truly "Compact" any more I can't scream too loudly, nobody really cares. Take a look at Nissan, Toyota, GM and Dodge, their compact, now "Midsize" trucks are huge! I have a 1999 Ford Ranger and I love it, it's not too big, gets moderate fuel economy and can perform any task that the average home owner could expect from their personal truck. It's as comfortable off road as on, in the city as in the country and definitely at the mall or city dump. I can park this truck on Manhattan streets when I go to a Broadway show, or at Home Depot when going to pick up dry wall for endless renovations to our little Cape Cod style house. I did drive the Ranger as my solitary vehicle for several years, to weddings and to funerals and down to the recylce yard and organic dump. But I've been critical of Ford over the last few years and admittedly said that if I was in the market for a new truck the Nissan Frontier would be my choice, because unlike the Ford it has 4 doors, more power and a 6 speed manual trans.
So, as I read the posts at AutoBlog and Jalopnik about the demise of the faithful Ranger, what do I see in comment? People asking if Ford will bring this Australian Falcon Ute here as a replacemnt. Not a chance boys and girls, Ford will abandon this market segment. Besides, as cool as a new Ranchero would seem, a Ranchero isn't a Ranger. A car based pickup is not a truck. Since the Australian Falcon is not easily converted to Left Hand Drive and their Engines have no hopes of passing US Emissions, it's unlikely that Ford will rush them to our shores.
It's a nice thought, but it's not going to happen. Besides, Ford has the new Ranger already. Well they have it for everyone but us that is. I've talked about it before. The new Ranger/BT-50.

And if this was available in North America I'd buy one tomorrow. Why, well because it's a great truck, that's why. And it has 4 doors, is available with 2 great Diesel Engines and finally a 6 speed manual transmission. And since I paid $3.40 a gallon for 87 octane gas this morning and we all know it's going go higher, maybe a nice Diesel would make a huge difference.
I very much doubt Ford will bring this to the North American market, I hear it will be in Mexico but not the United States or Canada. Why not Canada I have no clue.
I wonder how big Mulally's bonus will be this year? I hope he enjoys it, because the way things are looking at FoMoCo he'll need to bank it.
I'm disgusted, I really am.


4 comments:

RangerXLT said...

Im also a Ford Fan from The Philippines. I own a 2007 Ford Ranger Trekker TDCi and 2007 Ford Everest TDCi (SUV based from Ford Ranger, for Asian Market Only). When i was in College i owned a 2001 Ranger and the Gen 1 Ford Everest, sold it when the TDCi engine arrived here in my country.

I Love your site! Your a pure blood Blue Oval Fan!

if you have time please Visit our Club. Ford Club Philippines, FCP for Short. Here is our site: www.forclubph.com join our Forum also.

Thanks

Big Al said...

I thought I could sell my 2000 Explorer next year and get a Ford Ranger Diesel. Now I am forced to go foreign and with a bitter taste in my mouth for Ford. People at Ford still don't get it so I hope they go under in the future, sooner the better!

Igor said...

1) expect an announcement this summer of Ranger replacement.

2) why would you be bitter about Ford not offering a Diesel Ranger? - NO OTHER AUTOMAKER OFFERS SMALL DIESEL TRUCK!!!!

This is the kind of double-standard that is ruining Detroit's chances of revival - you wanted a pie-in-the-sky Diesel Ranger - so you go and get a gasser truck from the competition complaining that Ford was too stupid to give you what you wanted ?!?! How does that make any sense?...

Igor

Big Ford Fan said...

Igor, good to see you back!
All I've read is that the Ranger is to be canceled, nothing about a new Ranger for North America, can you give details? Will it be the Ranger that the rest of the world gets?

As for Big Al saying that in digust he will buy foreign, while I can see your point, I can understand his frustration as well.

People buy what they want and Ford isn't offering some of us what we want. Remember I bought a Mazda3 rather than a US spec Focus.

Honda is bringing Diesels to the US. Subaru is bringing Diesels to the US. Toyota is bringing Diesels to the US. Chrysler is bringing Diesels to the US?

Maybe not in "Compact trucks" yet, but did you read that Mahindra & Mahindra from India will bring a low cost Compact truck with a Diesel to the US?