By on August 7, 2008

1965 Ford F-100 Pickup (courtesy The Detroit News' headline writers have a daily cheerleading contest? Or is it more of an intellectual challenge thing: let's see if we can outspin the spinners? Why else would the Motown paper bury the fact that Ford's killed plans for a downsized version of their full-sized F-150 pickup in the text of an article titled "Ford high on fuel sippers?" Drug-related snickers aside, the meat of the matter arrives in paragraph seven, where we learn Ford reckons a more fuel-efficient, EcoBoosted F-150 obviates the need for the F-100. "The Detroit News has learned, the automaker has put aside plans to build the F-100, a smaller, lighter version of the F-150. The new truck was to have been built at the Michigan Truck Plant in Wayne, but Ford has decided to retool that plant to produce small cars. It could still build the F-100 at one of its other truck plants if it later determines there is a need for the product. Ford has also taken steps to ensure that it can quickly change its mind if it decides it needs to bring a new global version of the Ranger to the United States." Cost-cutting, smart move or cost cutting disguised as a smart move? "The small pickup segment doesn't really provide a lot of benefit," analyst Erich Merkle told the DetN. "You buy a pickup truck for bed space and towing. There really isn't much substitute for a full-size pickup. But it all depends on what happens to the price of fuel." Now I'm really confused…

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28 Comments on “Ford Kills F-100 (Downsized F-150)...”

  • avatar

    I really like small trucks, they handle relatively well compared to their Large trucks, a 6ft bed can haul many things an SUV can’t without a Trailer, They should be fuel efficient. They are useful for hauling Couches, Engines, Yard Waste, Kegs, ATV’s, Lawnmowers. Automakers turned it into a dead market buy building what they thought people wanted 3/4 size trucks with the fuel economy of a full size.

    I see no reason not to build a small truck that gets 30+ mpg, but nobody seems willing to do it.

  • avatar

    Ford seems to get along just fine selling the Ranger in places like South Africa and Australia. Granted, they get the 21st century Ranger, not our museum piece, but a smaller pickup nonetheless.

    Other than our own fat asses, exactly what does the average American need to haul around that justifies an F-150? Bloated ego? Small willie?

  • avatar

    I have a 10-year-old Nissan Frontier with a 4-cylinder, 5-speed manual combo. I consistently get 26 mpg in day-to-day commuting, a little higher on rare longer trips (say 29-30 mpg).

    The bed is 6.5 feet long, 40 inches wide between the wheelwells, and 60 inches wide above them. I can carry a double bed box spring and mattress in the bed perched on the wheelwells and the tailgate closed. There is space underneath for a more stuff, like a bookshelf. It’s also great for hauling mulch or yard debris.

    Oh and one more thing, I don’t need a stepladder to reach into the bed from the side!

  • avatar

    Perhaps they extrapolated from the less-than-stellar success of the crossovers?

  • avatar

    Since Ford has extended the life of the US-market Ranger until the world-market Ranger comes her in 2011 (assuming it does), I think that this actually makes sense assuming that the Eco-Boost V6 F-150 delivers the promised fuel economy gains.

    A really good small truck and a more efficient F-150 are all Ford needs.

  • avatar

    A small pickup makes lots of sense for a lot of people. I have a small farm and occasionally need to haul a few bales of hay from the feed store until they deliver a larger shipment, or to move them when I open up a new field. It’s large enough to carry a large appliance but easier to park when I go to the city. They are what they are, LIGHT duty trucks.

  • avatar

    Just as there are compact, mid size and full size cars to suit single and families, there should be an equal assortment of trucks. I see myself buying a small truck in the future to tow a boat (nothing big) weighing less than 4000lbs. Ford should really think about upgrading the Ranger while improving its fuel efficiency (practically the only thing about the Ranger it can market nowadays).

  • avatar

    There really isn’t much substitute for a full-size pickup.

    As far a profit is concerned. Ford doesn’t want to make a right sized truck because it would eat into the huge profits they make(used to make, hope to again) from the fat assed ones. The same reason they are all pushing for the CUV’s, huge profits for no real reason except they think they can charge for it. I think they are going to be in for a real shock when our crap economy dictates what they will be charging for these oversized beasts, they are going to have to learn to become more efficient at what they do rather than just charging an a$$load for something that appears to cost more to make. I bet that Ecoboost 6 is going to be just the same price as a V8 is today or more, hauling around almost as heavy a truck.

    Just make them smaller, lighter, not so high and practical, at a working Joe’s price and the sales will make up for the slightly smaller profit.

  • avatar

    Also, what platform is this F-100 truck to ride on? I remember talk of using the Explorer, but that is far too expensive for a small truck. And the global Ranger was never developed to meet NA standards. So, they’ll have to tool up a whole new platform for this vehicle. Seeing as how light truck sales aren’t exactly on fire, its a questionable call but not entirely unreasonable.

  • avatar

    I think dropping the F100 was a decent move to not cannibalize F150 sales, but since it lost “best selling vehicle”, what’s it matter? I believe the Ranger was purposely left to whither away so as to not cut into the F150 sales… at least partially… After discounts, F150’s were about the same price as a Ranger, base model to base model. $11,000 for a base Ranger or $12,000 for a base F150? With gas higher, it seems the Ranger is winning out, as I’ve not seen the $11,000 price lately.

  • avatar

    Ford gave up on the F-100 when Georgia Pacific refused FoMoCo’s request to make 3’x 6′ the new standard for plywood sheets…

    The existing Ranger could be re-tooled, lightened and lowered for “efficient hauler” duty; but it would have to be offered as a “stripper” to cover the increased costs.

    I remember when optioned-up Rangers were going for over $23k in extended-cab form, with the big fat tall tires, nerf bars, etc; more than the full-size models in some cases.

  • avatar

    Seems like a smart move. The F-100 would be a distration with no guaranteed benefit at this time. Focus needs to be on small cars and improving the existing line-up. A small pick-up can be evaluated at a later time.

  • avatar

    On again, off again, on again, off again…

  • avatar

    On again, off again, on again, off again…

    This should be the Big 2.78’s slogan.


  • avatar

    Smaller trucks are doomed to failure.

    You KNOW that if Ford produced the F100, it would inevitably be cross-shopped with base versions of the F150. If the price difference is only a few grand or so, guess which would win??

    Small trucks have always been an enigma to me. They offer less, but you pay more for what you get.

    Besides, the market has spoken. Customers never flooded Chevy showrooms for the Colorado. The Dodge Dakota never set sales records. The only smaller truck that has enjoyed a modicum of success is the Frontier (but Nissan has steadily bloated the thing over the years).

    My friend had a Ranger 4X4. Decent enough truck, but not much room inside. And even with the top engine, the thing strained and guzzled fuel. The bed sagged on its springs with a full load of mulch. We were carrying some wall stones one day and we had to make multiple trips so the truck wouldn’t fold up like a wet origami swan.

    Do you think the average contractor wants to make multiple trips for anything??

    You can’t even use a small truck to carry a full-size sofa. Can’t tow much with it. Certainly can’t plow with it. What’s the point??

  • avatar

    I think that it is a smart move as long as they keep and update the Ranger. What was the point of the F100 if they were going to keep the Ranger and the F150?

  • avatar

    Good…maybe Ford realized that there is no need for a truck, the size of the 1997-2003 F-150’s…well, there wouldn’t be a need if they weren’t insistent on making the F-150 bigger and bigger with every refresh.

    The Ranger would be selling in droves right now if it had a 2.5L 4 banger with a 6-speed or the 3.5L with a 6 speed. Ditch those horrible engines it has now, and replace them with the 2.5 and 3.5 with the same 6-speed.

    Ford would be making so much money they actually could afford to try the silly F-100 experiment.

    If this news is true…it will be one of the better decisions Ford has made in a long time.

  • avatar

    Also, what platform is this F-100 truck to ride on?

    Ford stated that it was to ride on a version of the F-150 platform…so it would be extremely slow and weigh as much as Texas.

  • avatar

    So, the F100 is still-born. Ford has a lot on its plate already. The shake and bake F100 was to be built on the current F150 chassis – but with a smaller and lighter body structure – to be sized similar to the two door, single cab Tundra.

    I didn’t see how they were going make money on the deal and not cannibalize F150 sales. Will US buyers ever be happy with a less than full-sized PU that Ford or GM can make enough money off of?

  • avatar

    The base Ranger with the 2.3L 4 and a 5 speed is ok. When I had mine it got 24ish city, 27-29 Hwy.

    With the regular cab and no cruise control it was downright painful to drive on trips over 1 hour.

    Now if they would just offer the 4X4 with the 2.3L 4 and a %M it would have potential.

    I do agree that the pickup bed is big enough for 90% of the light truck chores. Add a hitch and trailer and it is more like 98% of non commercial chores.

  • avatar
    Andy D

    Back in the day, the F 100 was a fullsize 1/2 ton truck. The base model was a 6 cyl/ 3 on the tree. The bed would handle 4×8 sheets of plywood. If you got a 6′ bed, you let gate handle the last 2′

  • avatar

    At the rate Detroit keeps killing the future new vehicles of my dreams, I’ll never own a new vehicle.

  • avatar

    I wish all the big three would put their pick-up offerings on weight-watchers. My 85 F-150 swallows a full sheet of plywood with the tail-gate closed, has decent get up and go with the 300 straight-six and C-4 tranny. Gas mileage isn’t bad and I can look down into the box. The company 2006 F-150 is monstrous by comparison, and not nearly as fuctional.Why do these trucks need to be so high, with such ridiculously large tires?

  • avatar

    An updated Ranger would be just the ticket. Ford should think outside the box and build one on a unibody chassis based on the Escape. After all, these are *light duty* trucks. Most people won’t need more than half a ton of payload…which is doable. Anything more…go buy an F-150. Offer a 4 and a small v6 and AWD standard and you are good to go (not sure you could build a RWD on the escape platform…)

    GM could build one based off of the design of the G-8 Ute, but restyled to be a bit truckier.

  • avatar
    John Horner

    With some of the Transit family coming to the US and a new lease on life for the Ranger, it makes sense to not do a slightly shrunken F-100 version of the F-150.

  • avatar

    I Think killing the F-100 is a terrible idea! Here’s why…

    – The Ford Ranger platform is ancient, My neighbor had a 1995 Ford Ranger and guess what, It was 99.98% the same as a 2008 Ford Ranger.

    – The truck isn’t safe for crash tests… at all! It’s just been allowed to rot… It really is a crying shame, If you look at the truck for what it does, it’s a soldier, but because it has been neglected for so long, its lost all the edges it once had.

    – Someone said that the only profitable small truck they knew about was the Nissan Frontier, WRONG! The Toyota Tacoma is an excellent small truck! Well, it was before It became about 1 foot shorter than the previous generation Tundra!

    – The fact is that we… I mean my family and millions like it would LOVE a small Pick me up Truck that could tow 4,000 Lbs, and carry a load of 750 to 1000 lbs… AND get 30 mpg Highway!

    – A truck that is a “Weekend Warrior” that can handle all of your landscaping or light off-roading needs, but also be your every day commuter if you work 45 miles away.

    – Its not a ridiculously hard job! I would love to be able to look at a ford product and be able to say. It does everything I need it to.

    YOU CAN DO IT FO.MO.CO … I have faith in you!!


  • avatar

    “The small pickup segment doesn’t really provide a lot of benefit.”

    OK, that was the statement that made this lurker break down and register.

    We’ve got a 1993 Toyota extended cab pickup that gets mid-20s fuel economy and satisfies all our modest hauling needs. We’re not contractors, but my wife gardens (and so needs to carry dirty stuff like topsoil, mulch, etc.) and we need to carry the occasional large object that won’t fit in our Protege5. The truck works great.

    So this “analyst” thinks what I really want is some huge F-150 or Tundra that gets 10 MPG less and can’t be parked without a spotter? (Or, as was pointed out above, loaded without a stepladder?)

    I sometimes think about replacing the truck, since it’s getting up there and has never been the same since it was nearly totaled. But there’s nothing out there to replace it with, other than crude antiques from Ford and GM and enormous bloated offerings from Toyota and Nissan.

    Is it too obvious to observe that the automakers could recapture a good portion of the non-“professional” buyers that have fled full-size trucks this year with a modern efficient compact truck?

  • avatar


    What he said +1.

    I want a truck like my dad’s old Mazda B2000, just made for the 21 century, and that doesn’t mean a gigantic gas hog. Come on Ford you could do it, and I would seriously consider your brand even though I hate the Ford family. And you would have a monopoly on the market, well until M&M get their small truck here. I’m game for experimenting with an Indian brand at the right low price so you better hurry.

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