Ford Replacing Ranger With F-150, Focus, Fiesta

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer
ford replacing ranger with f 150 focus fiesta

Ford’s facing one of the toughest challenges in automotive product planning: how to offer the competitive compact pickup consumers say they want without cannibalizing far more profitable full-sized trucks. The solution? Don’t offer a competitive compact pickup. “It’s no secret we have a new Ranger coming globally. We’re working on one for all the other markets in the world,” Ford’s Derrick Kuzak tells Pickuptrucks.com. “The difference is that all of those other markets only have a Ranger. They don’t have an F-150 above it.” See how that works? But don’t worry, Ranger fans. Ford has your effete, pathetic backs…

Today, a lot of customers who buy Rangers are the people who use it as a commuter vehicle. But with the new Ford Fiesta and Focus coming into the lineup, those kinds of customers will have other alternatives to the Ranger… The vast majority of Ranger buyers are not using the full capability of the truck.

See, why would anyone who actually uses a pickup buy a compact like the Ranger? You know, other than the fact that Ford hasn’t updated the wee hauler since the late Mesozioc and recently killed a mid-sized F-100 pickup. Actually, don’t answer that. Either buy a Fiesta, or pony up for an Ecoboost V6 F-150 (coming soon) or a four-cylinder Ecoboost F-150 (maybe coming eventually). Meanwhile, don’t mention a word of this to Howie Long.

Comments
Join the conversation
4 of 66 comments
  • Syke Syke on Jan 21, 2010

    Within reason, I'm not worried about base price. What I do worry about in a pickup truck is size. As in, I don't want one of those full-sized monsters that passes for a standard pickup truck nowadays. Back in the '90's I ran a 17th century re-enactment sutlery out of the bed of first a '91, then '94 Dodge Dakota, and loved them. Once I sold the sutlery, the wife asked that the next pickup be a bit smaller (that '94 was a long bed), so I went with a '96 S-10. I still have it, 148k, and it's running fine. Now, I'm looking for something new(er). I don't care if the design is 15 years old, just so it's as comfortable as my S-10, isn't too much bigger, and has a bed no higher. Other than the usual garbage hauling and Lowe's runs, my main use for a pickup is hauling motorcycles. Or hauling a bunch of racing bicycles to various swap meets. I'm definitely disinterested in the current style of making a 2wd pickup look like a 4wd (hear that Toyota and Nissan?) I'm also finicky-anal enough about the condition of my cars that I will not use a hatchback or sedan to haul garbage, lumber, mulch, etc. So screw that Focus/Fiesta suggestion. Looks like I'm going to be buying used again this time around, as by the time I finally finish saving up for the next pickup, neither the Ranger, Colorado or Canyon will be in production. Nor the Dakota, although I'm not happy with the current generation's up-sizing either. Just do a serious update of the current American Ranger (suspension, power, interior) and leave well enough alone. I'd be extremely happy with the end result.

  • Mtymsi Mtymsi on Jan 22, 2010

    If Ford decides to discontinue the current Ranger and not update or replace it that's only because they have determined their scarce development dollars can be more profitably spent elsewhere. I don't see how anyone can argue with that decision irregardless of what you think Ford should do with the Ranger. The fact of the matter is that the compact/midsize pickup market has been in steady decline for a number of years now and shows no signs of reversal. Keeping in mind that Ford is deciding the Ranger's fate based on profitability obviously they think there is not the necessary profit vs. the expense to continue to compete in this segment. The bottom line is the bottom line.

  • VanillaDude VanillaDude on Jan 22, 2010

    The F-150 isn't selling enough to support both an F-150 and a Ranger. While still #1, it will take more than model years to pay off the F-150 redesigns. The market for pick up trucks has changed for the worse since 2007. It is entirely possible that the next generation of F-150 will be smaller than today's generation. They are simply too big. If the next F-150 ends up sized as it was 15 years ago, then Ford will have bridged the differences between a compact and full-sized pick up. But right now the F-150 is everything for Ford, and they cannot risk deluding the market further. They have an entire vehicle line up that needs to be paid off, and 2009 was a very bad year. Ford stock is still worth only half it was just a few years ago. It is too soon to gamble on an entirely new pick up. Toyota and Nissan are not threats to the F-150 as once feared. What caused Ford to create the current generation was the risk seen by these two manufacturers. So, Toyota and Nissan can have the compact truck market a little longer while Ford sits it out and pays off their debts. If the market shifts again towards a compact truck, Ford can ship the new Rangers from overseas until the costs of producing the trucks here, can be justified. I loved my Ranger, but I can understand why Ford chose to do this.

  • Tom Bromwell Tom Bromwell on Jan 25, 2010

    To drop the Ranger line would be exactly what Ford did with Taurus, until Bill Ford brought a new president onboard named Allan Mulally. The Taurus lost out with the public because Ford ran the Taurus into the ground from pure neglect! I hope Allan Mulally has his eyes open as to Ford running the Ranger line into the ground also. I own a ranger, NOT for commuting but for hauling stuff. I have a Taurus for "commuting". I don't need nor want a F-150 because I get all I need from my small truck...it has many advanages over the full size truck. I would hope Mr. Mulally would use the same wisdom with the Ranger he used concerning the Taurus. Below is the conversation as told by Alan Mulally; "I arrive here, and the first day I say, 'Let's go look at the product lineup.' And they lay it out, and I said, 'Where's the Taurus?' They said, 'Well, we killed it.' I said, 'What do you mean, you killed it?' 'Well, we made a couple that looked like a football. They didn't sell very well, so we stopped it.' 'You stopped the Taurus?' I said. 'How many billions of dollars does it cost to build brand loyalty around a name?' 'Well, we thought it was so damaged that we named it the Five Hundred.' I said, 'Well, you've got until tomorrow to find a vehicle to put the Taurus name on because that's why I'm here. Then you have two years to make the coolest vehicle that you can possibly make.'?" The 2010 Taurus is arriving on the market this spring, and while it is not as startling as the original 1986 Taurus, it is still pretty cool. Complete Story - http://americanpowerblog.blogspot.com/2009/05/how-alan-mulally-is-saving-ford-motor.html

Next