By on September 4, 2015

2015 Ford Ranger

What if an automobile manufacturer could develop a new product, bring it to market, never substantially update the product, and continue to sell that product at a similar pace year after year? That would be impressive. But Ford could not manage to execute that four-pronged action with the Ranger.

Yes, Ford originally developed a Ranger, brought the Ranger to the North American market, and didn’t bother to truly update the Ranger. The consistent sales pace aspect? Nope, didn’t happen.

U.S. Ranger sales declined in 11 consecutive years at the end of its tenure, from 2000 to 2010. The 28-percent year-over-year increase to 70,832 units in 2011 occurred as Ford cleared out the final Rangers at ridiculously low prices and buyers of small trucks who wanted a genuinely small truck picked up the Rangers that remained.

Yet while Ranger numbers declined sharply over the truck’s final decade, falling 69 percent between 2002 and its final full year in 2011, the numbers were never that low. True, Ranger volume was strengthened by prices that made the Ranger affordable to buyers of subcompact cars, and the numbers were low in comparison with popular full-size trucks.

If, in 2014, Ford sold 113,000 Rangers, the average annual volume achieved over its final decade, the little Ford pickup would have been America’s 43rd-best-selling vehicle. That would have placed the Ranger ahead of many common vehicles: Edge, Pilot, Santa Fe, RX, Terrain, Mazda 3.

With an all-new Ranger, a truck to be produced at Ford Motor Company’s factory in Wayne, Michigan, would there be potential for Ford return to the days of selling more than 300,000 non-full-size trucks in America?

200,000?

100,000?

In addition to the Ranger, could Ford sell a handful of Broncos, helping to spread the cost of investment across multiple sectors while attempting to loosen the Jeep Wrangler’s off-road stranglehold in ways the Toyota FJ Cruiser could not?

Here are four sets of facts to consider in order for you to develop an answer regarding the Ranger’s future.

First, the Ranger was once the segment’s top-selling model. Not only that, the Ranger was the best seller by a wide margin, and rather recently. In 2003, the Ranger was America’s fourth-best-selling truck line with nearly 210,000 sales, 55,000 units ahead of the second-ranked Toyota Tacoma, 32,498 sales ahead of GM’s small truck phalanx. By 2004, the Ranger’s lead over the Tacoma decreased to only 3,390 units and the Ranger slipped into fifth place overall among trucks. The Tacoma hasn’t fallen from the top spot since earning top honours in 2005.

Surely the Ranger’s status as a former dominant player in the small truck arena could engender plenty of positive attention.

2011 Ford Ranger

Second, if we’re to consider GM’s latest endeavor into the small/midsize truck segment as a history lesson, we could conclude that additional candidates serve to improve the category’s stature. Rather than eating into the share of the pie previously eaten only by the Toyota Tacoma, Nissan Frontier, and Honda Ridgeline, the latest Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon increased the size of the pie. Through the first eight months of 2015, even with the Ridgeline on hiatus and the Frontier’s recent stumbles, midsize truck sales are up 49 percent compared with the same period one year ago. Category-wide sales are up by 79,296 units with the Colorado and Canyon contributing 76,000 extra sales and the Tacoma surging to the tune of 19,328 additional units.

Perhaps Ford could follow General Motors’ lead by expanding the scope of the segment.

Third, the market is cyclical. At this moment, as U.S. sales of SUVs and crossovers boom, it’s difficult for many observers to see how the trend could ever be reversed. Yet the leading cause of the SUV/CUV rise – automakers re-creating what it is that makes a utility vehicle – came after Americans turned away from utility vehicles. Similarly, full-size truck sales are increasingly healthy as automakers turned sharply toward improved fuel economy and a product mix that favours families and high-end buyers.

American consumers once purchased small/midsize pickups at a furious rate. Couldn’t a product more in keeping with modern demands cause the market to respond favourably in the latter part of this decade, building on the work of the Tacoma, Colorado, Canyon, Frontier and a new Ridgeline?

Finally, however, there is one key detracting perspective. American consumers no longer buy small/midsize pickups at a furious rate, not even during this phase of rapid improvement in 2015. As recently as 2003, 24 percent of the pickup trucks sold in the United States were not of the full-size variety. In 2015, without a Dodge Dakota, Mazda B-Series, Mitsubishi Raider, any forgotten Isuzu competitor, or a Ford Ranger, the same segment accounts for only 15 percent of the trucks sold in America. Americans will purchase and lease approximately 360,000 small/midsize trucks in 2015, half the number sold in 2003.

We would be misleading ourselves if we didn’t trace much of that decline back to the loss of many offerings, including 2003’s top-selling model. Could Ford sell 300,000 Rangers in 2018? No. 200,000? Not likely. But with GM on track to sell more than 100,000 midsize trucks in 2015, it certainly seems likely that Ford could do the same with the Ranger, assuming Ford can get the size and price right. Like GM, Ford may even be able to add the Ranger’s volume without doing any harm to their full-size moneymaker, the F-Series.

Timothy Cain is the founder of GoodCarBadCar.net, which obsesses over the free and frequent publication of U.S. and Canadian auto sales figures. Follow on Twitter @goodcarbadcar and on Facebook.

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175 Comments on “Can Ford Return To The Days Of Selling Hundreds Of Thousands Of Rangers Per Year?...”


  • avatar
    eggsalad

    At first, small pickups were (besides being somewhat useful for hauling) a decent alternative to a compact car.

    As an example, a 1985 Corolla and a 1985 Toyota pickup were similar in purchase price and MPG.

    In a 2 car family, dad could commute in a truck during the week, and do truck things on the weekend. A single guy could likewise buy a small truck in lieu of a small car.

    When you add those buyers in with the commercial buyers, you get good sales numbers.

    By the mid- to late 90’s, compact cars became more efficient than compact trucks, for various reasons. At that point, sales fell dramatically. Now only the people who really needed a truck were buying them.

    They also became bigger, heavier and less efficient. For most buyers, the V-6 was checked on the options list. That also made the price go up.

    Take a look at the pricing, too. The Chevy Colorado 6 is hardly cheaper than a Silverado 6 – especially when you look at actual dealer pricing vs. MSRP.

    The only market left for these trucks are fleet buyers who want the absolutely cheapest truck, and people who value the benefits of a smaller overall package over utility.

    Not enough to make it work, IMO.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      eggsalad,
      The pickup truck has change over time. Back when I was a kid in the States pickups were a single cab that the father drove for work purposes.

      Now they are becoming a family trickster, similar to why people by CUVS and SUVs.

      They are generally not bought as haulers, some are, but most sit in parking lots empty and drive to and from work an take the family out, shopping etc.

      The time of a basic small pickup has gone, why would you buy a basic vehicle this day and age?

      So your average pickup whether large or small is competing with other vehicle types for the family and recreational person.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    Summation of soon-happening event:

    Al OZ: No it won’t work because 113km of 45 metres displacement time rocks.

    Vulpine: Yes, you don’t get America because Ford has a truck and there isn’t a small Hardbody for the UN where African Australia Hilux.

    Hummer: It will work because it’s not same as H1 but I won’t buy it, bring it here.

    PCH: All your fact are belong to I. Stop it Al you’re wrong!

    -end-

    :)

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    Hundreds of thousands a year in US/Canada?

    Nope – those days are over.

  • avatar
    italianstallion

    The pop-up ads and the ads in the photos on TTAC are getting really, really annoying.

    • 0 avatar

      You aren’t the only one who’s annoyed.

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        I like TTAC and I’d like to support it. I’d turn off AdBlock for TTAC if the result weren’t so painful, and I bet others would too. Let the powers that be know that you might get *more* ad views if you made the ads unintrusive.

      • 0 avatar
        VolandoBajo

        Ad blockers are the thinking man (and woman)’s tool of choice. Ghostery in particular is a great tool, there are others as well. You have to experiment to see what works, and occasionally load a page with one of them turned off, to get the page to function the way you want it to, but mostly they just turn off the noise and let the signal come through loud and clear.

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      >2015
      >not using AdBlock Plus

      EDIT: I should clarify, I’m not doing so just because I think TTAC has especially intrusive ads. It’s a blanket solution to intrusive ads everywhere.

      • 0 avatar

        Dude, the ads are getting pretty bad. It’s cool.

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          I find it to be worse on my mobile browser. Sometimes the ads make it impossible to scroll through the page.

          • 0 avatar
            psarhjinian

            “I find it to be worse on my mobile browser. Sometimes the ads make it impossible to scroll through the page.”

            Try this:
            * Firefox for Android supports the AdBlock extension.
            * Atomic on iOS will block ads as well.
            * BlackBerry’s native browser, I think, does some rudimentary blocking
            * I believe WP is SOL.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            I’ve just been using chrome on my phone. I’ll switch the Firefox. Thanks.

          • 0 avatar
            APaGttH

            This.

            TTAC is borderline unusable on OSX with Safari.

            Chrome is only marginally better. It isn’t a unique TTAC problem, it is endemic across the internet.

            CNN’s site is completely unusable on OSX, Safari or Chrome. ABC News isn’t much better.

          • 0 avatar
            JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

            Cant be worse than AutoBlog. You let the page load, click on something, then the page REloads and what you clicked on isnt what you wanted, so you are now loading a completely different page. Very annoying.

    • 0 avatar
      agroal

      I ditched Internet Explorer years ago. Download the Mozilla Firefox browser along with the Adblock Plus add-on. They’re free and similar to IE. After installing Firefox & ABP a few pop ups may at first sneak through. Click on them and it trains itself and they’re gone. Open the same page side by side in both browsers and you’ll be amazed at the difference. I’m assuming we’re talking about a PC vs. a mobile device?

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    “Can Ford Return To The Days Of Selling Hundreds Of Thousands Of Rangers Per Year?”

    I will answer that question with a pair of questions:
    * Will the new Ranger sell for $10K?
    * Will the F-150, especially a gently used F-150, stop being such a good value proposition any time soon?

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      This was basically my argument during our last round of discussions on this topic.

      I just don’t think Ford can put enough space between the F-150 and a mythical Ranger.

      The worst enemy of a new Ranger isn’t the competitors’ products, it’s the F-150.

      • 0 avatar
        thattruthguy

        If someone is actually in the position to sign on the dotted line for a new truck for work or personal use, they’d have to be a real skinflint (or hate their employees) to go for a true small truck instead of an F150 as long as gas seems relatively cheap. A private buyer who’s watching pennies might decide differently, but that’s probably not a new vehicle buyer, so what they’d do is moot–they’re stuck with choosing from available used vehicles, not new.

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      These don’t compete against F-150s.

      The small trucks had their moment of popularity when they were rugged alternatives to compact cars. That is no longer the case. In this day and age, Ford can sell Escapes to many of these people without the added expense of offering another model, so it does.

  • avatar
    1998S90

    I think it comes down to pricing. I’m actually in the market for a new pickup and would prefer a mid-sized one. But if a full-sized F150 is only $2k more, I’ll probably go with the F150.

    • 0 avatar
      Higheriq

      I think a huge number of people would agree with you. The other thing is that most people in the U.S. and Canada have not actually SEEN the current global Ranger (they are sold in Mexico). After I saw one a few months ago, I concluded that there is simply not enough size difference form the F-150. The same can be said for the Canyon-Colorado/Silverado.

      • 0 avatar
        RobertRyan

        @Highriiq,
        Agree, about size differences. I think what you want to use it for is the big reason people buy them in the U.S. A reason the Tacoma has such strong sales, as well as it’s reliability , fuel economy, off road performance etc

      • 0 avatar
        Luke42

        I sat in a Colorado and a Ram 1500 back to back last week (small diesel truck bakeoff), and the Colorado is right sized and the Ram 1500 was too damn big for me.

        I’ll definitely drive the Colorado/Canyonero Duramax when it comes out. I expect that it really will be the truck I wanted to buy in 2006. But, I need a minivan more, so I probably won’t buy one.

        I’ve owned an F-150 (same class as the Ram 1500) and I didn’t like driving a vehicle that size. The size didn’t get me anything, and it came with a whole lot of disadvantages – like needing a 4.5L V8 in order to keep up with my Prius. The Colorado seems big enough to solve the problems of my Ranger, and small enough to skip the poreblems of the F-150. It strick me as a right-sized truck for my purposes.

        • 0 avatar
          Luke42

          TL;DR

          The Colorado *is* full sized.

          The F-150 and Ram 1500 are plus sized trucks.

          Plus sized trucks are acquired taste, even for a guy like me, who has owned three pickup trucks and put around 150k miles on them.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      I agree with the mid-size pickup mentality of those who do not need a full-sized pickup truck. Many of my fellow retirees chose some version the Tacoma after retiring their S10/S15, Dakota and Ranger pickup trucks.

      I think Ford should try to sell a ‘new’ Ranger in the US, and have it made overseas. GM brought back their midsize pickup truck and it is finding a market.

  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    I doubt that Ford could ever return to traditional Ranger sales levels. As pointed out, the Ranger was always a low cost player. Most of the Colorado/Canyon’s I’ve seen on the lot or in the wild have been higher end $40k retail trucks. The Tacoma’s I see are similarly priced and optioned. That is easily 1/2 ton V8 price range especially after rebates.

    eggsalad – the only real fleet buyers for small trucks have been pesticide companies like Orkin and small parts delivery companies. I’m sure handyman types liked them as well. A base Canyon is 20,955 USA and a base Sierra is 26,670. This isn’t fleet pricing but since GM can sell the Colorado/Canyon twins at full pop to civilians they aren’t going to worry too much about fleets.

    Current USA offers on the small trucks are 3.9% APR/60 months. The Sierra/Silverado currently has 20% off of MSRP over Labour Day.

    Most full sized trucks in Canada tend to have 10-14k factory rebates. Colorado is zero. I’ll take a 5.3 Sierra/Silverado crew 4×4 over a Canyon/Colorado any day for the same price. 42k for a full bling Colorado/Canyon or 42k for a 54k MSRP 1/2 ton?

    NO CONTEST!

    And that is coming from a guy who has owned just as many small trucks as full-sized.

    • 0 avatar
      VolandoBajo

      For me it seems not so much of a question of whether Ford ever could reach that level again, so much as a question of would Ford ever want to reach such a level again.

      Many of those sales would be relatively low margin compared to an F150 sale, and would be from buyers who likely otherwise would have bought an F150. Not all, for sure, but the percentage of Ranger sales that were otherwise F150 buyers would have a negative impact on the bottomline, so what that percentage might be could be a key deciding factor in Ford future strategy.

  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    CoryDL – thank you for saving us……… I’m not worthy……….I’m not worthy

  • avatar
    Rday

    Bought my youngest son a ranger back in the 90’s and he loved it all thru college. I wanted to buy a 4wd ranger but a friend had one and had serious problems with the front drive system and it cost him some money. Plus the 4wd model was very rough riding. So i bought a ridgeline and never looked back. still have it and will probably never sell it even though it is 10+ years old. One of the best vehicles i have ever owned and a real pleasure to drive.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      You know, Honda has sold every new Ridge they ever made.

      Where other automakers had some non-sellers, Honda just plowed ahead and told potential customers to wait for the next year’s model to come out, once they ran out of stock of the Ridge.

      And the customers did!

      One lady rancher in my area gave her old Ridge RTL to her college-age daughter a couple of years back, and bought a brand-new replacement for herself.

      Both are still tooling around our area, going strong. No signs of slowing down.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      But everyone knows a transverse V6 vehicle is useless!

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        dal, My first choice will alway be a full-size half-ton pickup truck. I’ve never owned anything smaller.

        But that is not to say that others cannot be happy with a Ridge. It’s very popular with the ladies in my area (New Mexico), many who use them to haul one-horse trailers, feed and hay.

  • avatar
    RS

    I was hoping that Ford would think a little outside the box and create a Ranger based on the Transit Connect. Too bad it looks like it will be another too big, too expensive midsize+ truck.

    • 0 avatar
      jthorner

      I agree with you. A pickup version of the Transit Connect would make a lot of sense and wouldn’t require offering another entire platform in the US market. Heck, they could call it the Transit Ranchero :).

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    I don’t foresee Ford selling hundreds and thousands of Rangers in the US market. I do see it selling numbers similar to the Colorado/Canyon quite easily.

    I do see the Everest selling in numbers far greater than the Toyo FJ. The FJ is sort of like a niche vehicle. It will only appease a certain populous. The Everest looks like a real vehicle, not something from a war story or anime. It will appeal to some CUV customers as well.

    As for the decline in the US midsize market was the doing of the manufacturers, government and unions amongst other things.

    There is one thing you guys continually fail to see. Your midsize market doesn’t have the same pressures that the global midsize market has. Investment into the US midsize is little.

    In other words their isn’t enough competition, due to measures like the chicken tax. So the manufacturers of pickups in the US must be able to produce and sell 100k plus a year. The inability to import a competitive midsizer also affects the total pickup truck segment, especially the midsize and half tons trucks.

    I do believe many who buy into a midsize opt for one in lieu of either a CUV/SUV. So a refresh and/or model development must keep pace. The midsize working vehicle, is a different story.

    The midsize market in the US is larger than many who comment on these sites assume. It is nowhere as large as the full size market.

    As pickups become more of a car alternative you will see the need for different size pickups, like the car market. Not every car is the size of a Camry. The same goes for pickups and even trucks. Not everyone wants or needs an 18 wheeler to drive to work in or deliver pizzas.

    Corey DL, good comment, but you failed to see one thing, I’m not a midsize fan. I own one, yes, because it suits my current requirements. I actually would like a SUV. But I couldn’t go past a pickup that offered all the SUV could plus a little more flexibility.

    So Corey it appears you do have me wrong. I’m an advocate for diesel, not truck size.

    I’m also against any form of restrictive practices regarding global trade that penalizes the consumer, ie, chicken tax and prohibitive regulator controls that act as barriers.

    The US vehicle market is huge, it’s also quite protected. So to most of you guys who have never experienced anything more than an old Ranger the new Ranger is on par with a full size half ton in refinement.

    Because I made a positive comment regarding the midsizer above doesn’t make me into a midsize fan.

    I’m a fan of all things mechanical.

    But, I’m not a fan of some of you narrow [email protected] minded morons who thinks the world stops at Canada and Mexico.

    So, suck my d!ck.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    Sorry, guys, but read what is written.

    My comments are not to be feared by the insecure.

    Full size trucks do have a market if you read what I wrote.

    But if you need to produce 100 000 vehicles prior to selling them, who will take that risk.

    Ford didn’t want to. VW didn’t want to with the Amarok.

    So, why not allow the importation of midsize pickups?

    If as you guys assume the total dominance of the full size is unbeatable. Why the comments?

    I do think you guys are the ones with the issue.

    Oh, my apology is not what I wrote but I do empathise with your plight.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      “My comments are not to be feared by the insecure.”

      So people who are insecure should not fear your comments?

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        bball and ridehieght,
        Yup.

        Again digest what is actually written in my comment overall.

        I can nit pick anyone’s argument.

        One thing, if you are going to make an assessment on a comment look at it in it’s entirety.

        Did you guys ever have comprehension as subject in school? Or was how to interpret texting?

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          I don’t even know what to do with this.

        • 0 avatar
          VolandoBajo

          I would ask the same thing of you BAFO concerning grammar and spelling.

          Never was one to walk away from a good opportunity, and you have presented one.

          Would you like me to itemize for you?

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            VolandoBajo,
            First call me Big Al.

            Secondly my message is coming across. That means my grammar is good enough.

            Thirdly, TTAC is running that slow and unstable it is hard to even type this. So, I will expend any effort in attempting to correct my grammar.

            The problems increases expotentially as the thread lengthen. This thread with only 120 odd comments is only just running.

            It seems to be a TTAC issue. TTAC has become progressively worse since they did their last update to WordPress.

            Even call me Al, this is even shorter than BAFO.

            Thannk you for your input.

    • 0 avatar
      RideHeight

      “Oh, my apology is not what I wrote but I do empathise with your plight.”

      This is where Bugs holds a picture of a wood screw and another of a baseball.

    • 0 avatar
      RobertRyan

      Logically from what has gone before, the Ranger will have niche in the NA market, same as the Colorado , Tacoma etc.
      Cannot see why they can not imported from overseas,but politically and the companies interest they would have to be made in a NAFTA Country i e Mexico but preferably the U.S.
      Economies of scale for a vehicle built outside NAFTA are going to be different , when imported due to differing vehicle standards

  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    Big Al from Oz –

    1. “but read what is written.”
    Did you know that the actual words used in communication account for 7% of the message? That gets amplified to some degree on blogs.

    One can read what is written but one must also understand the message.

    CordDL’s parody should of been a message to either “STFU” or change your blog style.

    2. “My comments are not to be feared by the insecure.”

    Since you read but misinterpreted Cory’s message, this one comes as no surprise.
    Anyone on this blog filled with fear?
    Ego and/or hubris much?

    3. “I do think you guys are the ones with the issue.”

    I give up.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      Lou,
      You give up? I thought you wanted me to give up.

      Corey should of STFU, as I’ve actually never interacted very much with him.

      TTAC isn’t Facebook. So, if someone wants to put forward bull$hit info or comments I do and will respond.

      Try reading what I write not the banter.

      I do interact with those I do respect. Remember respect goes two ways. If I sense a lack of sincerity I will attack.

      So, go back read what I put forward and not the defence targeted at the morons.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        @Bigal from Oz – “I do interact with those I do respect”

        Well, that spells the end of your blogging at TTAC.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          Lou BC,
          As I’ve stated in the past this isn’t Facebook, so what is your point.

          This is supposed to be “The Truth about Cars”, correct if you consider me wrong again.

          I see it this way, if there are half a dozen guys who can’t see the forest through the trees, then so be it.

          What I’m stating I don’t write for a thumbs up or down response.

          I write what I consider the truth to be.

          Like with Ford’s poorer than expected aluminium wonder truck performance.

          That is one area you must concentrate on.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @BiGal from Oz

            You write from what you consider to be the truth.

            Where does this fit in?

            “So, suck my d!ck.”

            You are frustrated because you see it as half dozen guys “not seeing the forest for the trees”.

            In reality we have a case of almost everyone tired of the way you deliver your message.

            Looks like you are going to war with most of the bloggers here.

            Stop thinking:
            “But, I’m not a fan of some of you narrow [email protected] minded morons who thinks the world stops at Canada and Mexico.”

            Start thinking, ” There are those out there with different opinions, beliefs, and values than I and that is okay.”

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            Lou,
            Boy, you’ve stooped to levels I have yet to witness!

            Good show my friend.

            As for other opinions and ideas. I’m all for it. But when an opinion becomes an argument then have some justification or way to validate what you put forward.

            Many have opinions, many opinions are generalised with the use of anecdotal and hearsay.

            I have my views in which I attempt to base on real data. That’s why the likes of DiM, pch etc use data and spin to justify their arguments or they just lie.

            I only have an issue with around half a dozen or so guys.

            Maybe one day you’ll sit down and research why the new F-150 sales aren’t setting the world on fire.

            I don’t debate, I put my interpretation of data and information forward.

            I don’t pass comment on these sites for consensus either. Like I stated this “ain’t Facebook”.

          • 0 avatar
            JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

            @Bigass,

            He stooped to low levels only by quoting your childish and pathetic comment.

            The new F-150 is selling extremely well. So much so that Ford had to source a second supplier for frames because the one wasnt enough. But, yeah, youre right, its selling so bad that they only did that to fool everyone, right?

            Everyone is wrong except you. That good enough for you?

            Your little rant makes one think of a 9 year old boy stomping his feet and crying loudly because daddy didnt buy him a bb gun. Pretty pathetic. Did you make sure to slam a door when you got done showing us (again) what an ass you are?

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            johnny boi,
            Stopr for a moment drinking the Ford Koolaid and also stop with your FoMoCo fanaticism.

            The F Series overall has lost ground with it’s major competitors.

            Why? What is the biggest change that has occurred to the F Series? The Ford aluminium wonder truck.

            I did pose a question and Cars.com sort of answered it as best they could.

            I wanted to know if the SuperDutys increased proportionally with the Silverado/Sierra.

            The answer was yes.

            Since the F Series is more reliant on it’s HDs then I ask how big a fall did the F-150 take?

            Ford claimed in June that the F-150 has reached full production.

            Ford statd it needed 90 000 old and more popular steel F-150 during the transition phase for the new aluminium F-150.

            Last month Ford apparently had over 52 000 F-150s sitting in it’s inventory.

            It had large incentives/rebates as well. And before you state it was for certain models, let me remind you Ford has ramped up it’s other models to sell. So Ford has a good spread of aluminium F-150s to offer the consumer.

            Ford in August improved around 4% for the F Series. The Silverado increase by over 7%.

            Of that 4% the F Series improved what proportion was the aluminium F-150, remember the Ford HD have been improving in line with the likes of the Silverado.

            I’d say Ford only moved 40 000 pieces of aluminium in August, this is with massive incentives and rebates. We are talking Ram numbers here.

            As the WSJ stated “It’s not unusual for a pickup manufacturer to offer large incentives, but Ford with it’s new F-150 are offereing large incentives on such a new pickup is odd”, or words to that effect.

            Ford released so much hype and bull$hit prior to the introduction of the 2015 aluminium F-150 it had to back pedal once they realized that the FE of the new truck wasn’t as great as they had alluded too.

            The production issues, design and development costs, factory refits, thousands more employees, and on and on Ford really requires this truck to shine, it hadn’t.

            The new F-150 is a good pickup but it has been reviewed lower against a VM powered Ram, the Colorado. So this the new F-150 was no game changer.

            This is reflected in it’s sales.

            The pickup consumer is quite a conservative lot, just look t the yokel an hillbillies that comment on TTAC regarding pickups.

            As a company if you introduce radically different pickup, you’d expect it to be a game changer. The aluminium F-150 is only competitive with other offering in the full size half ton arena, maybe except for the current Titan.

            When the ISV V8 Cummins Titan is released and even if it only takes a couple thousand SuperDuty sales away from Ford a month and Ford has lost ground with it’s new aluminium HDs, like it has with the aluminum F-150 Ford will be hurting.

            Imagine if the Tundra is fitted with the ISV Cummins as well.

            Go back and research prior to talking to me.

            I do like the interaction with you, but you are blinded by Ford, just look at your name?

            Sorry about the typos, but i’m around half a dozen words to a sentence or two in front of what is on the screen.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            John,
            Ford needs the Ranger to bolster it market share in the US pickup market.

            The aluminium F-150 can’t be sold with large incentives as they had.

            Ford just can’t afford it.

            The Ranger will bring offer a refined pickup cheaper than the aluminium wonder truck.

            I also would bet it will outsell the Colorado and Canyon combined. It’s that good.

            I don’t know why Ford just didn’t build a bigger version of the Ranger.

            But this is what happens when Boeing is running your business, so to speak.

          • 0 avatar
            VolandoBajo

            Untrue to my form, I am going to abstain from jumping in on this battle.

            Instead (since it is impossible to reply to every post here) I am going to note that (a) I thought the Boeing guy (Mullally, sp?) recently announced his retirement; and (b) if Big Al is right and so many others of the B&B are wrong about the future of FoMoCo given the big bet they have placed on the new aluminum F-150, then we can expect that Ford’s stock price will be considerably lower a year from now on Labor Day weekend than it is now.

            On the other hand, if Big Al’s analysis of Ford’s true position grossly overweights any new startup issues, including getting a conservative customer base to buy into a new engineering (aluminum vs. steel bodies), then FoMoCo stock should be doing just fine a year from now.

            Personally, I expect to remain long on F, and expect that regardless of what issues (technical or marketing) that Ford faces with the aluminum body F-150’s, they will come out of that venture in good shape.

            But as I alluded to, right now all of this back and forth amounts to little more than urinating into the wind, whereas a check on the state of F stock over the next year will tell a great deal.

            Though I would not be surprised if this happens, that Big Al will have a pseudo-formula explaining how Ford managed to engineer this in spite of their aluminum bodies being a “failure”.

            But I will go with the “year from now” test. All it takes is a bit of patience and the willingness to continue urinating in my toilet instead of into the wind.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          and John,
          When did the KC plant stop pumping out F-150s?

          January?

          So, Ford would of had at a minimum 90 000 steel F-150s sitting around, I’d bet more.

          These are still factored into the F-150 tally.

          Look at what Ford had also done. It produce too many of the wrong model aluminium F-150, dual cab XLTs.

          Why? Because Ford thought the consumer would of swooped onto these trucks.

          So, even now I’d say Ford still has a few thousand or so old steel F-150s sold a month.

          This also brings me to question Ford starting up another supplier for the chassis on the aluminium F-150.

          If Ford isn’t moving the new aluminum truck that well, what use is the new plant, unless the current plant is having issues.

          Or, is the new plant going to produce the HD chassis and maybe augment the heavier F-150 chassis?

  • avatar
    Scoutdude

    Traditional Station Wagons, Muscle Cars, Coupes of all sizes, Personal Luxury cars, Convertibles all once sold in massive numbers but don’t any more. Those segments aren’t going to make a comeback and neither will the less than full size market.

    What the GM twins are selling now isn’t relavant, a huge amount of that is pent up demand, those that kept waiting to replace their S-10/previous Colorado. The came they saw some of them bought and some of them said yeah Toyota is where it is at which is why the rise in Toyota sales.

    The real tell is what the market looks like after the GM twins 3rd year is over. The people who had waited and had to have it ASAP got it int he first year. The people who said I’ll wait until the second year to let them work out the bugs make sure it isn’t a total POS bought it in the second year. So the 3rd year will tell what the potential on going market for it really is.

    Ford is smart to hedge their bets and make sure that the next Ranger will work in the US, just like they did with the current Ranger but I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for them to bring it to the US.

    • 0 avatar
      RobertRyan

      @Scoutdude,
      Fuel prices are rock bottom, but the Midsize sector is increasing? Wait till prices start to climb back, to a more normal level, then the segment will speed up

      • 0 avatar
        Scoutdude

        Less than full size truck sales peaked back when gas in the US was around $1/gal. As gas prices rose less than full size truck sales dropped off and the faster fuel prices rose the bigger the drop in sales. So I see no reason why less than full size truck sales would increase with gas prices the next time they start trending upward.

  • avatar
    RideHeight

    Don’t want no truck where I can’t even lower the visor enough to use the garage remote if I’m wearing a baseball cap.

    Soon, that will mean all pickups.

  • avatar
    BDT

    Ford is leasing the F-150 XLT 4×4, 2.7L, SuperCab, 6.5ft box for $239 a month in my area (maybe yours, too). That’s how much a mid level Ranger should go for. Are they really going to de-incentivize F-150’s to sell Rangers? Highly unlikely. Ford bet the entire company on the new F-series, so I’m not sure where they fit the Ranger into the fold without eating into the F-150 (which they won’t do).

  • avatar
    Mandalorian

    The current 1500 trucks on the market are pretty much just about as optimized as pickups get in the US.

    If you take a global small/midsize truck like this Ranger and give it decent power for US roads and towing (V6), give it the required safety/emissions gear, assemble it in the US to avoid tax, give it the interior space Americans want, give it the cargo space Americans want, and give it the level of fit/finish/refinement Americans want you basically have an F-150/Silverado/Ram at their current non-luxo version prices. Just look at the new Colorado/Canyon.

    • 0 avatar
      RobertRyan

      @Mandalorian,
      If you give the F150 1500, improved payload, much improved Off Road performance ,better fuel economy ,slightly narrower body, improved electronics, quality and reliability then it will be a Pickup that people will want in Australia

    • 0 avatar
      RideHeight

      Yep, meet the new truck, same as the old truck. Those little dinky trucks went away for a reason.

      That’s not to say that a niche notatruck like the Santa Cruz wouldn’t find a small market but it’s notatruck, it’s a Boomer’s plaything.

      Something to wait outside the barbershop in next to the other old coots because we all habitually get places 20 minutes before they open.

      • 0 avatar
        RobertRyan

        @Rideheight
        Ranger is the size of the Tacoma, Colorado etc, so should help grow the segment, even though fuel prices are rock bottom. Full Size US Pickups and HD Duallies are ” Dinky” to me, it is all relative

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          What’s this got to do with dropping fuel prices? Midsize pickups are known for mediocre to poor fuel economy.

          • 0 avatar
            RobertRyan

            Maybe in your world, not here

          • 0 avatar
            alluster

            “What’s this got to do with dropping fuel prices? Midsize pickups are known for mediocre to poor fuel economy.”

            If you only look at EPA numbers gamed by automakers. Either the FS trucks are designed to show high fuel economy in the EPA tests or the numbers are plain made up in the case of Ford.

            Physics are a b1tch in the real world. A 20% lighter truck with a lower frontal area and half the engine displacement will have a much better real world economy.

            MS trucks have a place in the market even though sales are a fraction of FS trucks. Subcompacts are a even smaller fraction of midsize sedans but no one ever says they need to discontinued.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            It’s not a hoax. The problem is too much is asked of midsize pickup engines. They lack the power necessary, and are geared aggressively to get the job done. Power hasn’t kept up with increased size/weight. It’s time for V8s or similar power levels, in midsize trucks. Then you won’t have to keep your boot on the gas pedal so much.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        RideHeight,
        Those dinky little trucks are no longer manufactured.

        Those dinky little trucks have a GVM of 6 tonnes nowadays.

        Those dinky little trucks sit smack bang in the middle of full size 1/2 ton capability (full size GVM 5-7 tonnes).

        Tell RoadWhale where to buy one of those little dinky trucks.

        Those dinky little trucks have been crushed or are sitting in a wrecking yard.

  • avatar
    VoGo

    I stopped reading articles about small/midsize trucks years ago. It always devolves into a pissing contest among the same 3-4 guys. Don’t you guys get bored ever?

  • avatar
    JD-Shifty

    Everyone says they want a simple cheap truck. The Colorado WT is 4 cyl, manual trans and basic and costs around 20 thousand, I bet they don’t sell many. The Tacoma seems like the best deal along with the extended cab full size V6 trucks, their mileage is very good now. single cabs are about extinct and extended is getting more rare.

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      Extended has become regular cab in midsize trucks, mostly because you couldn’t seat 4 Americans comfortably in an extended cab midsize and you couldn’t fit 3 in a regular cab midsize. Regular cab fullsizers are pretty expansive even for the most …generously proportioned drivers, and at least they have fleet sales to prop them up.

      • 0 avatar
        JD-Shifty

        Extended cab would be nice in the fact that you can lock up tools and gear and haul that occasional third person who wouldn’t feel comfortable sitting 3 across. I also hate those tiny beds in a crew.

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    It’s no longer a Monkey See – Monkey Do. If one did an El Camino, the other did a Ranchero. The Mustang brought us the Camaro. The Bronco, the Blazer. Astro/Aerostar. Etc/Etc.

    There’s a lot more research and data crunching that goes in now. GM found out, and was no doubt shocked the Colorado and twin are severely cannibalizing other, more profitable GMs. As if they’re in it for the profits anyway.

    OEMs are better off running their own ‘game’, than looking over the fence to see what sales they can take away from their competitors.

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    Despite the naysayers, there is evidence that the market absolutely needs a small truck. Not one the size of the Tacoma; not one the size of the Colorado, but one the size of the Courier, the Luv and the D-50. That said, the 80s and 90s Ranger, S-10 and Dakota were still reasonably small; enough so that they remained a niche, but significant part of the market. It wasn’t until they grew yet again–all of them now at least the size of the Dakota (which was always the largest of the group) and the OEMs simply stopped trying to improve them. Had they stayed smaller and received reasonable improvements–especially in powertrain, they never would have faded in the first place.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    The Ranchero came before the El Camino. Ranchero came in MY 1957 and El Camino came in MY 1959. Ranchero was based on a full size Ford from 1957 thru 1959 with the option of a Thunderbird V-8 and then in 1960 based on a Falcon chassis then latter on a Fairlane. The El Camino was a full size Chevy with a station wagon frame from 1959 then reintroduced in 1964 on a Chevelle platform (1964 first year of Chevelle which was the same size as a 55 Chevy). Both the Ranchero and El Camino were Americanized versions of the Australian ute.

    I think Ford should continue to do what works for them. I am happy with the choice of the Colorado/Canyon, Frontier, Tacoma, and the soon to be release Ridgeline. I liked the Fords I have owned but I like Hondas much more. If the Foton Tunland eventually comes to the US that might be a better choice especially with a Cummins diesel. Eventually Ford, GM, and Chrysler will import Chinese made vehicles anyway which will improve the quality of the Chinese vehicles. Ford can offer incentives and 0% interest and that will increase the sales of the aluminum F-150 which will help them recoup their costs faster. Ford might be better off to re-badge a Chinese truck if they decide to bring a midsize or compact pickup into the US–much less risk and much less capital invested. Unless you are a fan boy what difference does it make what name is on a car or truck as long as it is competitively priced and reliable. Unless the manufacturer wants to pay me for endorsing their product I will choose what product meets my needs and offers me the best value for my money, but then I am not a paid spokesman for Ford.

    • 0 avatar
      thelaine

      Agreed Jeff S. A durable small pickup that is cheap to buy and operate might be a winner and peel off small sedan buyers like big pickups have done with big sedans and SUVs. Maybe that is just not realistic given regulation, taxes, profit potential or whatnot.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        thelaine,
        I agree that a little pickup is needed, even one like the Proton Jumbuck we used to get.

        But alas, they will only arrive if they are imported. Even here in Australia the Jumbuck was very much a niche vehicle.

        The people that owned them swore by them and they were cheap as chips.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    You could be right thelaine, but then it could be the Chinese.

  • avatar
    RS

    Will any new Ranger be aluminum like the F-150?

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      RS,
      No, they will not be aluminium.

      The Ranger/BT50 are made of high tensile steel. The added cost of aluminium would make them unviable.

      Ford spent around $5 billion in today’s dollar to develop and manufacture the Ranger. Why would Ford waste billions more to redesign what would essentially be a new vehicle?

  • avatar
    VolandoBajo

    Not having the time to do all the research, and seeing that there are plenty of people here with differing ideas on what is the solution to a medium size pickup, I pose the following question, hoping for answers.

    My son is in the market for a truck for his business, lawncare and snow removal. He would consider new if the price and warranty makes sense, but would prefer used under $10K, and with enough miles left on it to get at least three to five years at 15-20K miles per year.

    Should be able to get close to 20mpg in the city, if not better. Prefer extended or dualcab, not mandatory. Should be able to tow at least 3/4 ton, up to a 1 1/2 ton would be really great.

    Needs not be a power monster, nor have off road capability, but AWD for winter operation a big plus. Stick preferred, but a reliable auto trans possible.

    Any of you who have much more experience and knowledge of the car market than I could amass even with a lot of research, have any ideas or suggestions? Anything you like that is even close? Anything you think is the kiss of death to be avoided like the plague?

    I respect most of what most of you have to say on a lot of topics, so this seems like a good place to toss out this, which I consider to be an approximate definition of the kind of truck that is vanishing, or has vanished, from the US market.

    If I’m wrong, please point me in the right direction. And if I am right, please suggest my best direction to move in going away from this idealized first business work truck.

    PS Our preference is for US made, but if foreign, Toyota and/or Nissan seem like best options.

    US made, we have a fairly strong preference for Fords, but will consider arguments in favor of other manufacturerers/brands, as is also the case with foreign trucks.

    I would especially be interested in hearing from @bball40dtw given his good knowledge of Ford vehicles, as to what he would do given this situation. But all opinions are welcome, even those berating our preferences or specs. Just try to have some facts to support your views, please.

    • 0 avatar
      alluster

      @volando: This link might be of help. Remove zipcode 22102 and substitute with yours to find trucks local to you. You can also narrow down to manual trans or AWD/4WD under transmission and drivetrain.

      http://www.cars.com/for-sale/searchresults.action?PMmt=0-11-0&crSrtFlds=stkTypId-feedSegId-pseudoPrice&feedSegId=28705&isDealerGrouping=false&mdId=21145&mdId=21095&mdId=22213&mdId=22044&mdId=20989&mdId=22061&mdId=20856&mdId=22171&mdId=21874&mdId=22250&mdId=20778&mlgId=28859&prMn=0&prMx=10000&requestorTrackingInfo=RTB_SEARCH&rpp=50&sf1Dir=DESC&sf1Nm=price&sf2Dir=ASC&sf2Nm=miles&stkTypId=28881&zc=22102&rd=100&searchSource=UTILITY

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      @VolandoBajo – In my part of the world used pickups tend to fall into three categories: 1. Personal use SUV replacements, 2.Personal use but actually used as a truck, 3. work trucks. Generally speaking trucks in #1 are in great shape but are expensive. It is usually better to wait for a big rebate campaign and buy new. #2 is a mixed bag but it is usually easy to spot the trucks that have been beat up. #3 Work trucks (especially fleet) are usually dirt cheep but have almost zero usable life.

      I think the best approach is make of list of priorities. Size, width, box length, mpg, seating, luxury, 4×4, price range etc. and go from there. Amortization and tax right-offs are another factor. A lot of seasonal companies in my world will lease for 6 months to cover peak worktime so as to avoid a huge inventory of trucks sitting idle for 1/2 the year.

      He should fare okay in the USA looking for a 10k truck but in Canada that gets you into some crappy trucks.

      If snow removal is a task don’t bother with anything smaller than a HD but that also depends on where the truck will be put to work. You might find a used older loader that would work better for snow clearing. Skidsteer loaders other than Bobcat can be purchased for a good price.

      A 2 ton dump truck with trailer and a skid steer would be higher than 10k but would be more versatile and do more work than any pickup.

    • 0 avatar
      VolandoBajo

      Thanks to all of you who replied with observations on my request.

      I suspected as I wrote these that perhaps the problem was somewhat over-constrained, but I wanted to see what people thought about the effect of shifting various constraints.

      In particular, we probably have to let go of the HD concept and a full size plow initially, partly because we can meet most of our business requirements without that, and because that will be the area we are most unfamiliar with, and the one that would place the most scheduling constraints on us during storms.

      So if we stick to residential and very small business plowing in our first winter or two, plus using the truck for summer mowing and landscaping, it looks like what we need instead is probably a used F-150, one slightly above the “worn out/ship to Mexico” range, perhaps an extended cab with a V8, or if we get lucky, a diesel, with mileage in the mid-100K range or so, and capable of pulling a trailer that will haul a couple of riding or standing mowers, plus some smaller equipment, in the summer, and two, or possibly three at the max, dual stage walk behind snowblowers in the winter.

      That should also enable us to haul a fair amount of dirt and/or mulch for landscaping jobs, and will give us some time to get a better sense of the commercial snow removal market before we jump into it.

      In fact, if the opportunity cost proves to be too great (given that we might be able to really clean up, no pun intended, doing residential snow removal), we may just decide we don’t want/need to go in that direction until and unless we get to where we might be able to expand to more than one crew.

      But all of that lies in the midrange future, and not right around the corner.

      So in the end, we come back to a few years old, fairly well cared for AWD F-150 with an extended cab, and preferably with a stickshift.

      We did see in our travels, what amounts to a dream truck at this stage of his business development (less than three months in): A Ford F-550 small dump pickup, with side toolboxes, enough cab to seat six, 150K miles, new injectors, dually rear axle, HD front axle,a snowplow, etc, etc.

      About ten years old. Only catch: asking $25K. That would take a helluva a lot of yardwork, landscaping and snow removal to justify that kind of capital investment.

      OTOH, we are already looking at some smaller equipment we can use now, that was more than we needed a couple of months ago. So we keep working hard and levering ourselves up.

      My son is smart as a whip but doesn’t like to sit in classes, and is also as strong and as hard-working as a horse. And I had a business of my own before I retired, so it is an ideal chance for me to help him learn what he needs to know to reach his dreams.

      Perhaps he will get interested in college one day when he finds out there is something he wants or needs to know that makes sense to go to college, but in the meantime, he at least has enough sense not to run up a lot of student loan debt just so he can run around on a campus. In fact, he has more maturity than his father did at his age, so it is really getting in to the fun part of seeing my being a father coming to fruition.

      But as far as his business goes, although we haven’t set the world on fire, I am quite proud of what he has accomplished in just ten or twelve weeks from when this was just an idea of his.

      Thanks again for all the suggestions.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    Under 10k with many miles left makes this a challenge. Used would be the most likely choice and at the least a half ton but more preferable an HD since you stated that your son wants to use it for snow removal. You should start with an internet search and see whats available and be willing at least to increase the scope of your search if you do not find anything close. An HD with a diesel such as a Powerstroke F-250/350, a Silverado/Sierra HD Duramax, or an Ram HD with a Cummins. Don’t rule out a gas engine as well. If your son is able to afford more than 10k then there would be more choice.

    As for manual transmission that is a challenge in itself. Since most trucks have gone to automatics it will be harder to find a truck that is less than 10 years old with a manual especially a full size half ton or HD. Ram HD is the only current truck of its kind that offers a manual. You son should keep his options open and look for a truck that is at least a half ton to 3/4 to 1 ton. Don’t be as concerned about what make it is but look at the condition and mileage.

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      “Should be able to get close to 20mpg in the city, if not better.”

      “Should be able to tow at least 3/4 ton, up to a 1 1/2 ton would be really great.”

      “Needs not be a power monster, nor have off road capability”

      Given those criteria, I think an HD pickup would be overkill.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        20 mpg city isn’t happening, for his needs. But for his price range, the 100K mile used F-series is. That’s a 2008’ish super or regular cab 4X4 F-250 or F-150 in base trim. Gas V10, or 5.4 for the F-250. 5.4 or 4.6 V8 for the F-150. Asking price at a dealer is usually around $13K for any of these, but offering $9K cash should get you a $10,500 deal.

        carsforsale.com/vehicle/details/9301011

        carsforsale.com/vehicle/details/10178449

        That’s the sweet spot, as 10+ year old trucks are the target of Mexico (and below/beyond) exporters.

  • avatar
    CincyDavid

    I’ve owned 2 Rangers and a Mazda B4000 pseudo-Ranger. Loved the trucks, simple, sturdy, BUT rough ride and got terrible fuel economy, probably no better than a full size truck.

    I wish the station wagon segment would come back to life, my 97 Volvo V90 wagon is a great substitute for a small truck…RWD, can carry 20 bags of mulch, low liftover height into the cargo area, can tow more than a Ranger…what’s not to like?
    EDIT…I checked kbb.com for specs to compare a 3.0L Ranger super cab to my Volvo…fuel capacity is within 1.5 gallons, the Ford is a foot longer in length, width is almost identical, the Volvo weighs 300 LBs more, The Volvo has 44 more HP and 19 more Ft-Lbs of torque. No top speed listed for the Ranger, the Volvo will nominally top out at 130. The Ranger does have higher towing capacity, 5900Lbs as opposed to 3300 Lbs for the wagon. Two very different vehicles, but more similar than one might suspect. And they both get relatively poor fuel economy.

  • avatar
    alluster

    I look forward to the day TTAC is not obsessed with units sold. One unit sold in 2015 is not the same as one unit sold a decade ago. The current GM midsize trucks sold at an ATP of $30,000 have no comparison to stick shift, $15K to $20K trucks sold in 2003. Vastly higher transaction prices coupled with a much cleaner balance sheet means selling 100,000 midsize pickups a year at $3K or more profit per truck in 2015 vs selling 250,000 midsize trucks at $0 or less than $500 profit per truck in 2005.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      “units sold” is how the industry keeps *score*. ‘High volume’ sales isn’t always a good thing, except ‘low volume’ usually spells disaster, aside from expected poor sales of “halo cars” and other loss leaders. But generally the more a particular vehicle sells, the more positive cash flow it generates.

      Mostly, none of the car makers divulge what we really want to know. Just how profitable are each of their cars? I mean unless certain cars are extremely profitable (F-series, Ram, Silverado/Sierra, S-Class, E-Class, 3-series, 5-series, etc) they say nothing.

      Of course we don’t know that the Colorado/Canyon is profitable at all. If it can maintain 100,000+ yearly sales at $30,000 ATP for years on end, then yeah, no doubt. Eventually, every expense that it took to bring them to market has to be paid back. There’s never *instant profitability*.

      But likely GM will have to cave to the fleet and cheapskate monsters to maintain 100,000 yearly units.

  • avatar
    olddavid

    As I read the commentariat, it becomes clear to me why at 30, I was paid six figures plus bonus for my experience and insight into the active marketplace. I was a member, and had worked on the inside since sweeping the family store at six. Now, with the hindsight living seven decades confers, I have become financially too conservative to relate to anything an up and coming young executive would be thinking. My first instinct would be to offer that a $12k single walled box 5 speed four cylinder truck would sell, but on further contemplation, a person raised on rear view camera-ed leather seated trucks with two bucket seats, four doors and a console would probably turn their nose up at the proposition. So, the only conclusion I have to offer is that I don’t know sh*t. Good luck finding the happy medium carmakers. Now I remember why I felt I earned every dollar back in the old days.

  • avatar
    Pch101

    The film version of the TTAC comments section, “Fifty Shades of Stupid,” will not be lacking for material.

  • avatar

    “Surely the Ranger’s status as a former dominant player in the small truck arena could engender plenty of positive attention.”

    And the Taurus was once the dominant midsize sedan, yet today is almost forgotten in the sea of CamCordIma’s. As the big warning on my retirement account says … “past record is no guarantee of future results”.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

      The Taurus no longer competes with midsize cars. If it did, youd have a point.

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        If the Ranger comes back, it will be as a midsized truck instead of a compact one.

        • 0 avatar
          RobertRyan

          @CJ in SD
          I would very much agree with that

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            I will agree as well, but I believe it’s a mistake if they do. One of two things is going to happen as a result.

            1.) Full sized pickups will begin to take a hit across the board; not only Fords, but every brand as the larger “mid-sized” trucks take over the segment.

            2.) Mid-sized pickups — or rather, large, mid-sized pickups will die off after reaching a certain plateau, falling to below more compact styles such as the Tacoma and Frontier.

            This second possibility assumes that even smaller trucks do hit the market–in the class of the Santa Cruz, Tornado/Montana and Strada/Ram700. As these take the place of the smaller mid-sized trucks, there is at least some chance that the larger mid-sized trucks become the true half-tons and the full-sized trucks get re-classified into Class IV status based on physical size and towing capacities.

  • avatar
    jthorner

    Perhaps the biggest upside for Ford will be less pressure on the low end of F150 sales. With the new aluminum construction, work truck level F150s are probably a money loosing proposition. For the company or contractor who just needs a basic low priced pickup truck, the Ranger can be the new solution. I suspect average F150 transaction prices will go up after the Ranger is back on the lot.

    Total volume for the Ranger will likely never recover to what it once was because there are so many vehicles competing for that same customer. Today little Scion boxes, Transit Connects and Ford Fiestas are all taking pieces of what would have been the 1990 Ford Ranger target customer. Back in the day, many Ranger were sold because they were about the cheapest reasonably durable commuter vehicle a person could buy. The same is true of the original Japanese compact pickups of the 1970s and 80s. Lots of those were bought primarily as basic transportation for those who didn’t need to regularly carry more than a driver and one passenger.

    Hopefully Ford with make the new Ranger a true best-in-class vehicle. They have not pulled that off with the new F150 or the Taurus, so time will tell. Ford does not have a track record of routinely designing best-in-class new products. Shame of them for that.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    I don’t think an HD is overkill if his son is going to use it for snow removal. I do agree with Denver Mike that 20 mpgs is over optimistic but a good F series are similar brand with about 100k miles can be had with a little negotiation. My landscaper bought a 2001 4×4 F-350 crew cab with a Powerstroke with 135k miles for about 13k that has a rust free body and that was well maintained. He is a farmer and does landscaping as well.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      We have a 2009 F350 Banks TurboDiesel StandardCab 4×4 Dually with snowplow attachment for use in mountain country. It used to belong to my father-in-law but it has been used by a lot people each year to clear their driveways and cut road access.

      It is a very capable vehicle, certainly better than an equivalent RAM3500 or Silverado3500.

      The F350 is rough-riding, hard to start in winter, and bucks like a bronco under load because of the short wheel base, but everyone in the village would agree, it has kept the roads open every winter.

      If there is one drawback to Ford trucks, it is that they rust, and rust badly, when used for snowplow and road-salt duties. Aluminum anyone?

    • 0 avatar
      VolandoBajo

      That sounds like being in the right place at the right time. Might go that route if we could find one like that, but from what I have seen in the last week or so of looking, not likely we will find one like that within a couple hundred miles even in two or three months of searching.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    @highdesertcat–Yes the Fords do rust out especially in the wheel wells but then most trucks in areas where there is a lot of snow will rust because of the road salt and other chemicals used to deice roads. If you are going to use a truck to plow snow with it will rust anyway.

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      I agree. When my in-laws still lived here many people depended on him to keep road access open from their property to the mountain roads. But like you said, all that salt and all that caked on road dirt has taken its toll on the Ford’s body.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    To summarise my position.

    1.The Ranger will not sell in the numbers of old, it is a different truck, on par with a full size 1/2 ton. The ones we get anyway. It will not reach Taco numbers for few years either.

    2. Ford need the Ranger due to the poor showing by a new and only reasonably competitive aluminium F-150.

    3. In recent times the Ford HDs have improved in numbers along with the GM twins.

    4. F Series numbers have dropped.

    5. Due to the proportional increase of Ford SuperDutys within the F Series totals have squeezed out F-150 numbers to a degree.

    6. This has in fact given us Ram numbers for the aluminium F-150. Don’t confuse SuperDutys and steel F-150s.

    So at the end of the day the new 2015 aluminium F-150 is and must be a worry to Ford execs.

    Bring on the Ranger and delay the introduction of the F Series money spinner and earner the SuperDuty.

    This is what is occurring at Ford. They need to do something and fast.

    This current F-150 problem is nothing like the rollout of the latest Silverado by Chev. Ford is really hurting.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      Your *logic* is overly simplistic here (SHOCKING!!!). 1st, picture ‘long term’ investing. We’re talking up to 20 year build cycles.

      2015 F-150 ‘fleet sales’ have suffered, down to 20% of mix (intentionally), while premium F-150 sales were up to 70% of the mix, directly after the initial launch of the aluminum F-150.

      Except the normal ‘mix’ of fleet F-150 sales is around 40%, so there’s that to look forward to. And fleets buy in considerable quantities too. So that “loss” is what GM and Ram are enjoying for now. They should live it up. And don’t think for a minute fleet sales are a bad thing here. Fleets drive trucks into the ground and come back for more.

      Still, 70,000+ F-series sales in August isn’t too shabby, even if HD Super Duty sales are up sharply. The F-150 could be cannibalized by WORSE. Speaking of the global Ranger… Yeah Ford needs that one like a hole in the head!!

      fool.com/investing/general/2015/09/01/ford-f-series-sales-surged-but-so-did-incentives.aspx

      fortune.com/2015/03/16/ford-aluminum-f150-pickup-truck/

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        DiM,
        We are not talking F Series.

        We are talking the aluminium wonder truck. How many are moving off the lots? Even with huge incentives/rebates, nothing like Ford would of hoped for.

        Ford is hurting.

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          @BAFO – You’re not making any sense. Of the 70,000+ F-series sold in August, you don’t think at least half were aluminum F-150s?? I’m seeing ’15 F-150s absolutely everywhere. And very few of them, basic super-cabs or under.

          But expect rebates on the aluminum F-150 to double. Then what? Plus the availability, selection of stripper trucks

          They’re still severely limiting fleet sales, so you’re just be silly.

          Why would anybody not wait for the end of the year or next year??

          Right now HD Super Dutys are too tempting. Selection, plenty of strippers, rebates.

          If you think Ford is hurting, dump your stock. I’ll take them off your hands!!

    • 0 avatar
      VolandoBajo

      Like I said elsewhere in this thread, let’s see what the stock market says about how much they are hurting, over the next few months.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        VolandoBajo,
        I would agree with you except for one thing. The change to aluminium was for FE purposes, not corrosion resistance.

        It’s not the aluminium itself that is the concern, but the durability of the construction techniques and the fact cars and trucks are not designed to live a long life. There is more to a car then bodywork.

        The new chassis design on the new F-150 will not last decade. It construction is of higher tensile steel that is much thinner. The higher the tensile strength, the more carbon, which equates to more corrosion, and with much thinner material.

        Aluminium is prone to cracking due to stress as well.

        Steel pickups and cars now are quite corrosion resistant compared to even a decade ago. Cars and trucks now are throwaway recyclable appliances.

        Don’t forget the added cost of each vehicle that is made of aluminium.

        Ford added another few thousand workers to manufacture the aluminium F-150. that is also being produced in smaller numbers.

        If the T6 global Ranger cost Ford $5 billion in todays dollars, I’d hate to see the cost of the aluminium F-150.

        The F-150 is selling in quite small numbers compared to the previous steel pickup, even with large incentives/rebates on offer. Even with thee large offers Ford only managed only around half the increase in sales as GM.

        The aluminium F-150 is a good truck, but it is considered not as competitive as the pickups from it’s competition. If it was the consumer would purchase them and the pieces of aluminium would be marching out the door.

        It seems Ford’s HD line is keeping the F Series alive, until they are aluminium. Then it’s anyone’s guess.

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          @BAFO – There’s more than one reason for aluminum, crazy. In my world, perfectly great running trucks are thrown away for rust alone. We’re talking 10 year old trucks and GMs are the worst offenders. Meaning what should be a $13,000 clean truck is reduced to a $2,500, ship it to Mexico junk.

          There’s no way to fix it right without spending another $13,000. Here’s a hillbilly temporary fix. What a disaster…

          youtube.com/watch?v=2din5kmNqfw

          All this can be avoided with aluminum. Check the other videos. Yep most are Chevys.

          Otherwise with aluminum, you’ll have a fullsize truck that weighs in as midsize with that much better performance and working capacity.

          Seems to me it’s worth the price of ‘admission’. By the way, you said the new F-150 would be too expensive to buy.

          Buy a Chevy or Ram and you get what you pay for.

          Once the F-Super Duty goes to aluminum body, you’ll see a shift back to F-150s, by then in full production and huge normal rebates.

          So for the time being, the F-150 continues to get cannibalized by the Super Duty and Ram/GM, *except* it’s mostly losing fleet sales to the competition.

          So it’ll all work out for Ford. Don’t worry your pretty little head!

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    @Big Al–I am not really sure how the aluminum body F-150 will play out in the final run but I don’t think it will be an Edsel for Ford. Ford is going to have a larger than normal budget for advertising and marketing and will have to continue giving sizable factory incentives (cash on the hood) and zero percent for 72 month loans. Even factoring out the aluminum body and Eco-Boost engines the truck market is highly competitive and both GM and Chrysler are aggressively discounting their trucks and offering competitive interest rates and leases. The added cost of the aluminum and the complete retooling of Ford’s truck plants has put Ford at a higher cost disadvantage but it is not impossible for Ford to eventually gain their sales back once this new F-150 gets more acceptance.

    Both GM and Chrysler will be faced with spending more to make their trucks more compliant with the new efficiency requirements. Chrysler is in the worst position to do this in that their fleet efficiency is among the lowest of any competitors and their profits from Jeep and Ram are being siphoned off to develop new models for Alfa Romeo, Lancia, and Fiat. Sergio knows that FCA will need to do something in the near future and that time is running out. Forcing a merger with GM is one solution that Sergio is trying to do. Ford is in a much much better position than FCA. FCA needs to do some aggressive product line trimming and shed themselves of Lancia, Alfa Romeo, and most of the rest of the Italian badges except Fiat which keeps FCA in the European market and other markets. Ford has already done the product line trimming and has gotten rid of Jaguar, Land Rover, Volvo, Aston Martin, and Mercury. Ford is concentrating on the Ford brand with the exception of Lincoln.

    As for the Ranger I believe that Ford is floating the idea of a Ranger or a smaller truck out to the public to gauge interest before they commit to producing one for the US and Canadian market. I would not read too much into this story or any announcement that Ford makes until Ford has committed themselves to a specific model and has announced where that model will be made.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      Jeff S,
      I had never stated it will be an Edsel. Where have I stated this?

      Ford isn’t selling as many aluminium F-150s as the older steel F-150s.

      Ford HDs have increased their number in line proportionally with GM trucks. That’s near on 20%.

      Now if the F Series isn’t as popular and is selling near on 20% pickups proportionally than GM what F Series truck is losing out? There can only be one, the F-150.

      Deduct the steel F-150s from the total and you will see what I’m stating here.

      Ford is only moving the aluminium trucks at Ram levels. That is not an Edesel.

      But it is blow to Ford.

      As a percentage how much has the F-150 declined?

      The Ranger is needed to make ends meet and Ford will find it much harder to pay for it’s aluminium adventure.

      • 0 avatar
        Lou_BC

        point 1: Fleets like to stick with the same brand.

        point 2: It has been said that Ford has chosen to go with mid to high end F150’s first then start filling fleet sales later in the year.
        That means a shortage of fleet grade F150’s.

        If Ford HD sales are up significantly I’m betting that those increases are fleet sales:

        Case in point:

        F150 reg cab 4×2 max cargo package = 3,300 lb
        F150 reg cab 4×4 max cargo package = 3,060 lb
        F150 with max tow, 12,200 lb

        Ford F250 HD 4×2 cargo 3,592 lb
        Ford F250 HD 4×4 cargo 3,192 lb
        F250 max tow (6.2 gasser) 12,500lb

        A fleet buyer who NEEDS truck and can’t wait and wants to stick with Ford would have almost identical capacities with a base spec Ford F250.

        For most companies prime time work season is late spring and summer. By fall work is easing off. (Assuming work done in climate sensitive areas).

        Fleet customers aren’t going to wait for the fleet regular cab F150 since work season will be over by the time they show up.

        Like I’ve been saying all along. Wait and see. Same time next year will be telling.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          Lou,
          So, you then agree with my logic on the numbers of aluminium F-150.

          You seem to be having another DiM’esque moment here attempting to move the topic off of the aluminium F-150’s poor sales numbers.

          Also, you are assuming to additional sales for Ford’s HDs are going to fleet operators. Are they.

          So, you are also stating that the vastly superior improvements overall by GM and Ram have also gone to fleets?

          Come on Lou, you can do better than that.

          Ford’s aluminium wonder truck will have more difficutly reaching out to the fleet market.

          Also a fleet buyer isn’t going to pay more to step into a truck (aluminium F-150), 2-3 times as much for repairs and in an unknown new and radical product that doesn’t even offer a substantial FE advantage over it’s competition.

          Yup Lou, Ford has given a lot of thought for the new aluminium F-150.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @Bigal from Oz – Ummm……. so you took from my post that I am either “deflecting” or “agreeing”?

            REALLY?
            Point 1.
            It keeps getting mentioned that Ford went after the mid to high end F150 sales crowd with the release of the new F150.

            Point 2.
            Ford said that fleet orders would be filled later in the year.

            Point3.
            If you need trucks for this year’s peek work season do you:
            1. wait,
            2. buy the closest alternative or
            3. buy a competitor’s truck?

            GM’s sales are up and so are Ford HD.

      • 0 avatar
        VolandoBajo

        As aluminum bodies prove themselves in rust resistance over the next several years, they will go from being the new odd thing, to the preferred solution for pickups. At that point Ford will be ahead of the pack by years.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      Jeff: I’m going to put a word in edgewise here because in a way you and Big Al are both right. If you recall some of the discussions when Ford first announced they were going to an aluminum body, a lot of the argument even then was about how the trucks themselves would have to be more expensive at the lot due to higher materials and manufacturing costs. This is, in many ways, playing out despite Ford’s claiming the MSRP is little, if any higher. Despite more recent discussion that argues the cost of maintenance and repair, the experience at the repair shops is proving those repair costs as much as double or even triple that of steel. For now. End result? Ford is being forced to sell the new trucks well below the MSRP AND the current MSRP itself is well below the profit margins felt with the older steel-bodied trucks. Those $25K XL base models are probably realizing no more profit margin than their Fiesta and it’s probably not until you get into the $35K models that they start getting into ‘comfortable’ profit ranges of *maybe* $5K. It’s not until you get into the $40K and up where they can get away with more on the hood and still realize a 10%-15% profit even though they’re sacrificing 5%-10% in cash on the hood. You get into the $50K and up rigs and the profit margins even with rebate is over 20%. With the steel bodies, those top-end models very likely see as much as 50% profit margin or more.

      So while the trucks certainly won’t be a modern Edsel, they’re still losing money on a per-vehicle basis as compared to their old profit margins. Ford probably needs to sell 30% more trucks than ever before to realize the same total profits.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        @Vulpine – Figure it’s a losing proposition regardless, bringing an all-new pickup to market, at least for the short term. And obviously it’s the shortest term for GM, Ford and Ram fullsize pickups. Months till actual pay down of all it took to get it there. They’re *only* the top 3 most profitable “cars” in the world. No other pickups even come close. The global Hilux? Pffft get real!

        Years and decades for some to reach total R&D etc payback. Hello, Titan, Tundra, Frontier.

        So even if takes a whole 18 months for aluminum F-150 payback, and enter into practically pure profits, who really cares (besides BAFO)?

        Point is it was an investment for the future of Ford trucks. Basically to sit back and count the money by weight (on a truck scale?) while the others are scrambling and shutting down their entire operations to revamp and keep up. They’ll go through the same strife or worse.

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          I give the Big Three about five years to realize they simply cannot keep dodging the CAFE laws by making their trucks bigger; they’re going to have to make them smaller and I honestly believe GM’s Canyon/Colorado are already feeling out that market to perhaps drop the current S-series trucks for a return to the old S-series… the -10 and -15. The OEMs have already shown us they’re willing to ignore popular opinion when that ‘popular’ model starts hitting them in the wallet.

          And it’s going to take a lot more than a mere 18 months to pay off the R&D and capital expenditure to create these aluminum-bodied pickup trucks.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            Again, “Top 3 most profitable “cars” in the world”. I don’t think you realize what that really means. You can’t possibly fathom it, by the sounds of it.

            I understand most of that obscene (pre tax) revenue is siphoned off to keep other “Big 3” cars alive and to generally keep these 3 auto makers *alive* and the lights on, but that’s a different story.

            The revenue from these 3 pickups lines is on a scale not even imaginable by other pickup truck lines. In fact some pickup truck lines are on the other end of the spectrum.

            CAFE can only suggest changes to these 3 *monsters*. I’m not saying “monster” in terms of size, but in monster profits. Worst case CAFE fines (if they fail to meet 2025 CAFE minimum FE) would be mere ‘chump change’, or about $150 per truck.

            If millions of Americans keep wanting big fullsize pickups, regardless of mpg, they shall get them. They’re willingness to spend big dollars guarantees it.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    @Vulpine–I do believe the midsize will eventually die off after a new global size has been established that is slightly larger than the current global size/midsize but slightly smaller than the current full size half ton American truck. With smaller engines it is possible that 6 inches to 1 foot could be taken off the front of most full size trucks which would be closer to the size of a global truck. Global trucks continue to grow in size. There is an opening for a compact truck based on the platform of a compact crossover but that market might be limited. A Hyundai Santa Cruz based on the Santa Fe platform would lower develop costs and production costs in that it would share components and could be produced on the same assembly line.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    @Big Al–You need to chill, I never quoted you as saying the the aluminum F-150 is an Edsel. Many might make a comparison of the aluminum F-150 to an Edsel but it is not the same. I don’t think it is an Edsel nor is it a total flop but it is not getting the sales that Ford was counting on. Ford bet the company on this truck and so far the bet is not giving Ford the return it expected. It is far from over for Ford but some aggressive promotions and money on the hood with 0% at 72 months will move the new F-150 and eventually this truck will be more widely accepted.

    My opinion is that with federal regulations and the costs to launch a new product designed for a specific market will make the full size American truck as it presently is extinct. Pickups will not disappear but they will transition to a more global like size. To just single Ford out is not just because GM, Ram, Nissan, and Toyota will have to spend a lot to redesign their trucks as well even if they don’t go all aluminum. If anything I think Ford will be a better position once their competitors are forced to spend large amounts of funds on redesigning and retooling their trucks and this is before the increase in the advertising budget.

    I do think Ford should delay transitioning their HD trucks to aluminum. It appears that their HD trucks are selling very well and why mess with a winner

  • avatar
    BobinPgh

    Re: The aluminum Ford F-150:
    I don’t think Ford was counting on Chevy running a commercial with a man who could choose a steel cage and an aluminum cage where someone was going to release a bear and which cage would the man rather be in. If anything keeps Ford from selling more trucks, that commercial would.

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