By on July 27, 2018

Image: Wikimedia

Let’s not get our hopes up too high over a rumor. Still, it’s hard not to sit up and take notice of a report claiming Ford might build a small, unibody pickup that could make its way to the North American market.

According to Automobile, sources with knowledge of Ford’s production plans say the automaker wants a new, Focus-based pickup to replace its ancient Fiesta-based Courier in foreign markets. The model might find a home on domestic soil, too.

The Courier, built in Brazil using the platform of the subcompact Fiesta of 1998, is a dead pickup… er, walking. A replacement would be larger and more useful. And certainly more modern — the model would source its underpinnings from the next-generation 2019 Focus, of which the U.S. only sees the crossoverized Active variant.

So say the sources, anyway. Should the project get the go-ahead, the unnamed model would arrive stateside in 2022, slotting below the midsize, body-on-frame Ranger.

With the planned elimination of the Fiesta, Focus sedan and hatch, Fusion, and Taurus, Ford’s future domestic lineup doesn’t exactly look well-stocked with small, affordable offerings. Even the EcoBoost subcompact crossover seems pricey as an entry point.

While details are scarce, it’s hard to imagine the future small Ford pickup having anything other than four doors — at least in the United States, where utility vehicles are family vehicles first, utility and commercial products second. One wonders how long of a bed such a vehicle could accommodate. Certainly, no one in Dearborn should use the Subaru Baja as a muse.

As for the model’s source, any light truck arriving from beyond North America’s borders would face the dreaded Chicken Tax, which has squashed the hopes of many a wee truck lover for decades. Mexico seems like the only place such a U.S.-bound vehicle could be built. As it happens, the elimination of the North American Fiesta means there’ll soon be unused capacity at Ford’s Cuautitlan assembly plant.

If Ford needs naming suggestions, there’s an obvious one just begging to be used.

[Image: Wikimedia (CC BY 2.0)]

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95 Comments on “Could It Be? A Truly Small Pickup for America?...”


  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    Make it single cab, use a wagon platform and done.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      Yeah, exactly, that’s how it’s normally done, just like the Falcon/Ranchero pictured above. Same as the ’80s Rabbit trucklet, Plymouth Rampage and likely others that slip my mind.

      Sales were relatively small at peak, and eventually faded into an obscure niche, not worth chasing. Yet the Chicken tax never slowed them down.

      Today, we’re talking an extremely niche market, meaning regular cabs, 2-seaters, and anything 2-doors is extremely hard to sell.

      Even the Vulpii demo might say they’re too big for “this”, too small for “that”…

      At least with regular cab fullsize pickups, you can still recline the seats into a comfortable position, and seat 3-across.

      However they would be based off US made or NAFTA zone, “existing” fwd-based platforms mostly. No Chicken tax involvement.

      • 0 avatar
        TW5

        @ DenverMike

        Compact pickups are a niche market today because oil prices were historically cheap for decades, and compact pickups didn’t make any money. Spare capacity was always better dedicated to other models. Is that still the case?

        I suppose Ford might be willing to find out, now that they are scrapping cars in North America. Besides tax and tariff headwinds, compact pickups now face stiff CAFE headwinds. The US powertrain will probably need to be hybrid to make the mileage requirements.

        Many hurdles to leap. Not sure this story can be classified as real news.

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          A compact pickup would face looser CAFE standards than the car it’s based on. But even a 40 MPG “average” is difficult for any non hybrid, compact car to achieve.

          So if there’s a loss involved and a CAFE fine on top of it?
          Now can you see Ford’s point of view?

          With most Ford cars going away, what would they base a new Ranchero on? The Mustang! V8 too!!

          Then it would sell. Ranchero GT? Ranchero GT500??

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      “Make it single cab, use a wagon platform and done.”

      and watch nobody buy it.

      two-seat vehicles are a tiny, tiny niche.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      Extended cab. Most everyone needs at least a little extra space behind the front row.

  • avatar
    eggsalad

    “it’s hard to imagine the future small Ford pickup having anything other than four doors ”

    No, no, no, no, NO.

    Four doors on a micro-pickup either makes the overall length absurdly long, or the bed absurdly short. How well did the Subaru Baja sell?

    Just make a single cab and a cab-and-a-half. That’s all delivery guys need. Or pool guys, who can’t use a small van like the TC because the chemicals need to be outside. Or young, single guys with a (real or perceived) active lifestyle.

    Basically, Ford should just sell the same truck as the Mexican-market RAM 700 – which is probably exactly what this will be.

  • avatar
    Sub-600

    Four doors would render the bed useless except for an 80 lb. bag of dog food. I’d love to see an S-10 sized truck, even from Ford. My two door Sonoma was one of my favorite cars, even though I wasn’t crazy about the 4.3L.

    • 0 avatar
      ect

      I generally agree. The last time we lived on a rural property, we had a Ranger XLT Supercab 4×4 that was my wife’s daily drive, as well as the vehicle we used to carry the assorted stuff that a horse stable requires. It worked quite well in both roles.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    “EcoBoost subcompact crossover seems pricey as an entry point”

    Seems?

    Its hacks your wallet.

  • avatar
    John

    Ford C1 based on the Escape, likely will be build at the same plant in Kentucky.

  • avatar
    Robbie

    A small pickup truck will absolutely never sell.

    Pickup trucks are *not* utilitarian vehicles. Most pickup truck beds have never seen any use. A pickup truck is a fashion statement; it is an expression of ruggedness and affinity to countryside and manual labor. It is as incomprehensible to foreigners as the preference for Subarus among urbanites who will never need a genuine four wheel drive vehicle, but prefer the same sex.

    A small pickup truck goes against the entire fashion statement that the owner wants to make. It is a bit like manufacturing Priuses with factory provided MAGA logos, or assault rifles with a Bernie Sanders picture.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      Why do you think a car-based “truck” can’t be a fashion statement?

    • 0 avatar
      TW5

      Assault rifles and Bernie Sanders go together like peanut butter and jelly. Just ask Steve Scalise.

      • 0 avatar
        Sub-600

        “Venezuela’s economy is a successful alternative to capitalism” – Bernie, 2013. Well, they’ve eaten all of their pets, now they’re eating zoo animals. Their inflation is approaching one million percent, that’s One Million Percent. Yeah, let’s give socialism a chance. Feel the Bern 2020!

        • 0 avatar
          ect

          I’m not at all a socialist, but I’ve done business in Venezuela and I know some Venezuelans. Come to think of it, I’ve also known a number of socialists over the years, and done business in socialist countries.

          Venezuela is not a socialist country, its a kleptocracy. Calling it socialist distracts from the real crimes that Chavez and his cronies/successors have committed against what should be a very prosperous country.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus

      What a load of crap.

    • 0 avatar
      Duaney

      That’s funny, they sold like crazy in the 70’s and 80’s. Have people changed that much? I drive several Chevy Luv’s, the most useful vehicle I’ve owned. And all the beds look like they’ve hauled granite, engine’s, and other heavy stuff all their lives. Never once has the purpose been “fashion statement”. It’s been, fun, economical, easy to use and park, thus, practical.

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      You’re obviously not old enough to remember the Japanese and American pickups of the 1970s and 1980s. They sold VERY well, because the Ranchero and El Camino had grown from compacts to midsized. Why do you think Ford Rangers are still on the road?

      I expect if Ford puts out a compact FWD pickup, GM will top it with a RWD drive version based on the Cadillac ATS. Jeep is already at work on a compact Wrangler pickup, so there will be enough models to disprove your fashion statement theory.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        If, Robbie, you chose to pay even a little attention, smaller-than-mid-sized pickups still abound in areas where they are not destroyed by rust. Even where I live, in Ceciltucky (a region of Maryland) you’d be surprised at how many Y2K and older Rangers survive, along with the S-10/S-15 GM trucks and even a number of older Toyota, Datsun (pre-Nissan) and other small trucks are still running. When you move farther south, such as Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, etc., the number of smaller trucks grows, not shrinks, with some showing hard use and others well cared for… but also working. Sure, some few may be highly modified as Donks, low-riders, Stanced or whatever but far, far more look factory stock or carry only minor cosmetic treatments like pin-striping and upgraded engines.

        No, if a true compact pickup were to come to the US market, I honestly believe it would take a significant bite out of the crossover market, as long as they were priced competitively with those less expensive vehicles.

  • avatar
    Oberkanone

    Fiestero

  • avatar
    Art Vandelay

    If Ford builds this, what will be the excuses of all the commenters who have been clamoring for this to not buy it, because I have good money that says they will find a reason.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      The target audience for theses are extremely obsessed with over all size, dimensions, and inside/outside volume. If anything’s not just right, no sale.

      And of those remaining few that give it a “Thumbs Up”, well they never promised to buy it “new”. This type of vehicle makes a great 2nd or 3rd car, lacking the fundamental things to make it a primary vehicle, or additional payment worthy.

      • 0 avatar
        Lorenzo

        You seem to be in agreement with Duaney’s fashion statement idea. I suspect you’re viewing the existing big pickup market as the target. A compact pickup will bring out an old market that hasn’t been served in decades, since the chicken tax shut out the compact Japanese pickups. This is a “new” market that will ditch their 2-wheel trailers for a proper, but small pickup for light hauling.

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      I’ll buy it if I like it and have a use for it, but until I see it I can’t buy it

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus

      They won’t because its a Ford. Let Toyota rebadge it, and they’d beat down the door for it.

      • 0 avatar
        Luke42

        That’s because Toyota has been working for decades to improve their reputation as a “responsible choice”.

        Ford, on the other hand, has been selling the F-series hard.

        And now we’re seeing the logical result of these strategies.

    • 0 avatar
      gtem

      I’m all for the truly compact pickup returning to our shores, and don’t mind at all if it would be on a FWD platform (better winter traction!). But as a current (old) compact truck owner, I’m more than happy to keep buying the decent condition 20+ year old ones for $2000 when I need one for a summer, then selling for what I bought it for in the fall. They work just fine for the task at hand, and I’m not shelling out $20k+.

    • 0 avatar

      It needs to look better than the abominable current Ranger.

  • avatar
    Oberkanone

    This rumor has been circulating for 10 years or more. Since the time of promised diesel Focus for U.S.A..

    Chevrolet Tornado, FIAT STRADA, VW Saviero, Renault Duster Oroch, etc., etc.
    The small truck/car format exists.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      Back when Fiat and Chrysler merged I was hopeful the Strada would come over as a Rampage revival.

      Unfortunately at this point the truck is probably too old for that.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus

      I don’t recall anyone promising a diesel Focus for North America. Now, Mazda has promised diesel cars for several years, though they have yet to happen.

      Ford is putting a diesel in the Transit Connect.

      • 0 avatar
        Lie2me

        Don’t hold your breath, diesel has suddenly fallen out of favor around a lot of the world and since it was never popular here outside of trucks I don’t think you’ll see many new diesels coming to market

  • avatar
    JMII

    Ford only builds trucks now (no more cars) so I’d say the chances of this happening are actually pretty good.

    • 0 avatar
      SD 328I

      Ford builds plenty of cars, just not in the North American market pretty soon.

      Their markets in Europe and Asia will still have cars.

    • 0 avatar
      Art Vandelay

      A wagon with an extra 3 inches of ground clearance is still a wagon. Look at cars up until the 50’s, then look at crossovers. People have just figured the whole lower wider bit, while great for handling, isn’t the most effective use of space.

      So Ford still builds cars. The Explorer, the Edge, and the EchoSport come to mind.

      • 0 avatar
        Lie2me

        I think it’s funny that some people look at crossovers as a passing fad when historically it was the “longer, lower, wider” car that was actually the fad and now we are returning to tall, upright cars with a lot of ground clearance

  • avatar
    TW5

    I could make real compact trucks a thing in the United States again. I would only need to make a few small tweaks to CAFE, and they would be building and selling them by the hundreds of thousands.

    If the manufacturers are eying a few minor tweaks to the CAFE regulations, maybe compact pickups will be a real thing. Hard to say precisely what people in DC or Detroit are thinking these days.

    • 0 avatar
      mikeg216

      Put it on the transit connect chassis.. Put two removable seats in the bed and you are in business

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      TW5,
      Get rid of the chicken tax and you’ll have lots of choice, like the rest of the modern world.

      You seem to forget to manufacture pickups in the US you need to be able to sell 100k a year to make the investment viable.

      Who’s going to inest billions in plants and tooling? This is why the chicken tax will end up destroying US full size pickups.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        There’s no connection between US fullsize pickup sales and the Chicken tax. Spouting it 10,000 times won’t make it so. Not even in regards to the Tundra or Titan.

        Barely in regards to US midsize pickup sales. The tax could go away and you still won’t see an impact.

        It’s always been the case, much under 100K units (projected) annual sales isn’t enough to attempt the US market. At least with cheap, low margin vehicles.

        But since Mercedes can avoid the Chicken tax on the Sprinter, VW could do the same with the Amarok. It’s not Rocket Science. It just takes “demand”, car, boat, Widget, what ever.

        The Amarok is better suited for protected markets anyway, where it can demand a premium price, same as the Nissedes X Class.

        With several existing midsize providers, and 4 classes of pickups to chose from, several providers in each of those, we’re not missing much (worth crying over!).

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          https://www.forbes.com/sites/brycehoffman/2018/03/03/if-you-arent-worried-about-a-trade-war-you-dont-know-about-the-chicken-tax/#5d4dc4185455

          “The 25 percent tax made small pickups produced by the likes of Toyota and Isuzu uncompetitive versus those produced by U.S. manufacturers,”

          Straight from the chicken’s mouth

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            And yet again, DM insists on “facts” that don’t exist. DM, I’ll wager you weren’t even alive back then, so you have NO idea what effect that Chicken Tax had on the American truck market.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            The article/link is so stupid, it contradicts itself.

            “…Japanese automakers began to dominate the US small pickup market…”

            Thanks to the Chicken tax??

            What about “uncompetitive”? So which is it?

            These articles are best suited to the uninformed and hearing about the Chicken tax for the 1st time ever. With zero research, it makes dummy journalist sound smart to the average Joe (or Al!)

            Here the WSJ cracks down on one of these dummies:

            wsj.com/articles/chicken-tax-promoted-u-s-made-pickups-1523032005

            Those that spout off for a living hear about the Chicken tax and immediately jump to all kinds of conclusions without knowing much about the US pickup market, its history, trends, etc.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            It could be. Although I wrecked my first pickup in 1970. I’ve been a huge fan ever since. Almost 50 years!

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            Vulpine,
            Again, DiM has put a “dud” link in. The article states if read. “The chicken tax promoted to presence of US made pickups”.

            Doh!

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            TW5,
            Here’s some reading you should digest ……. and learn a little. It might change the Marxist views you hold and try to adopt to your ultra right wing stance;

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demand_management#Demand_management_in_economics

            “Demand management at the macroeconomic level involves the use of discretionary policy and is inspired by Keynesian economics, though today elements of it are part of the economic mainstream. The underlying idea is for the government to use tools like interest rates, taxation, and public expenditure to change key economic decisions like consumption, investment, the balance of trade, and public sector borrowing resulting in an ‘evening out’ of the business cycle.”

            ———————————————

            Now, if you read the cut and paste below imagine artificially increasing the price of a product (25%) and the impact it will have on that produce (pickup truck).

            The demand for that product will diminish if another product with no tax is offered. Now , if the market that these products (pickups) is a set size, the demand is relatively constant. So, production is then biased towards the untaxed item.

            Here’s the big but, to remain competitive the untaxed item requires a certain number of “units” to be manufactured to remain competitive against highly and unfairly taxed “unit”. This is the case with US pickup trucks. They need a certain quantity of production to make them viable against the unfairly and highly taxed competitive product.

            The highly and unfairly taxed “unit” (pickup truck) can be sold in other markets, thus offsetting the smaller demand in the market if they were not unfairly and highly taxed.

            This in turn creates a more competitive market, reducing prices and increasing development. It also gives the consumer the best and largest choice with the lowest possible prices.

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supply_and_demand

            “In microeconomics, supply and demand is an economic model of price determination in a market. It postulates that, holding all else equal, in a competitive market, the unit price for a particular good, or other traded item such as labor or liquid financial assets, will vary until it settles at a point where the quantity demanded (at the current price) will equal the quantity supplied (at the current price), resulting in an economic equilibrium for price and quantity transacted.”

      • 0 avatar
        TW5

        @ BAfO

        Is there some law of the universe that stops manufacturers from building compact pickups in the United States?

        The way you understand the world around you is quite strange. It’s all about schema and narratives. You never really stop to think whether what you’re saying makes any sense.

        • 0 avatar
          Lie2me

          In the world between his ears it makes sense, but no place else… *sigh*

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          TW5,
          Yes there is a “law”. It’s called supply and demand.

          When supply is artificially manipulated (25%) it alters the ability to supply the demand.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            Any dummy can read a code of law, comprehend it, and think they know “something” about something.

            Now “applying it” to real products, (not just theoretical on paper, fairy tale or other), and real markets, actual buying habits/trends, current and historical, I guess is more difficult than it looks, and the point at which the scamper off.

          • 0 avatar
            ToddAtlasF1

            The customs definition of a ‘light truck’ does not include the presence of a back seat and seatbelts, as they are not needed for cargo. How many pickups don’t have back seats and seatbelts? Do you remember how the Subaru BRAT and Ford Transit Connect circumnavigated the chicken tax with back seats? Why would a typical Thai pickup with two rows of seats be effected by the chicken tax?

          • 0 avatar
            TW5

            @ BAfO

            I get it. You can link to Wiki articles, and you understand supply and demand. What you don’t understand is how balance of trade affects currency markets, and how trade tends to balance naturally, not only because of Ricardian relative advantage, but also because of movements in spot exchange rate.

            There are legitimate economic reasons why manufacturers would never build a thoroughly American vehicle, like a pickup truck (or a 4Runner), in a foreign market and then import most units to the US. As Americans exchange dollars for foreign currency the dollar will decline relative to that currency making imports into the United States more expensive and exports from the US cheaper. Trade has a natural balancing act that is only counteracted in the long term if one country has superior capital rules that encourage investment and returns. That sounds like the US, but does the US really fit that description considering America’s trillion dollar deficits and ongoing subprime lending crises, including the mortgage meltdown of 2008? No. Our capital account is clearly in an artificial surplus and lenders are finding increasingly marginalized borrowers with whom to do business in order to sell the artificially cheap widgets they are importing.

            The Chicken Tax is irrelevant. It is merely a tool to stop foreign governments from indemnifying (illegally) their domestic manufacturing activity from fluctuations in spot exchange rates. The Trump tariffs are the same. Countervailing duties to thwart mercantile destruction of the globe by people who simply don’t care what the market is telling them. They would endure 10 Great Recessions, and they’d still be looting and lobbying for more US QE.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            Exactly BAFO. Don’t read the WSJ article. God forbid you might learn something. Or then you complain of lack of links, just to “show proof” of the stupid obvious.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            @TW5: “Trade has a natural balancing act that is only counteracted in the long term if one country has superior capital rules that encourage investment and returns. ”

            — Now if only you were right…

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          In a word, TW5, Yes. It’s called CAFE and its exemptions on tight economy restrictions based on “footprint” or the number of square feet encompassing the vehicles size or ‘shadow’ on the ground. THAT is why trucks have inexorably grown to such huge Road Whales™ while the OEMs have ever increased their load limits in their efforts to advertise themselves as “the best in all things trucky.”

          Too many people have been taken in by the advertising and the hype about the newer trucks while those who really USE their trucks buy the less blinged-out models.

          Me? I’d be happy with a modern truck approximately the size of my old Ranger.

  • avatar
    Ion

    What’s being forgotten is that this will be classified as a truck (ala the pt cruiser or GLA250) in the CAFE standards. It’s main purpose will be to offset regular trucks.

  • avatar
    JohnTaurus

    I don’t see why this vehicle can’t be based off the Transit Connect. Yes, I know its based on the current (not the all-new) Focus, but it seems like a natural for modification into a pickup. Add the new diesel available in the refreshed T.C., and you have a winner.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      John,
      The Connect is (was, a new Focus is out) based on a Focus platform.

    • 0 avatar
      spookiness

      John, I agree. I always thought that about the previous gen TC. Also I think something lost in conversation about compact trucks is they used to be popular partly based on price. In many places it was a younger persons (usually male) first “new” vehicle purchase. With Fords phase out of cars, their cheapest new vehicle now is probably a white Transit van or a base Fusion.

    • 0 avatar
      el scotto

      JohnT, think Transit Connect Econoline. Two front seats, cut the van body off, put in a back window and sheet metal. I’m surprised someone hasn’t modified a highly-used transit connect already. A sawzall and some light welding and oh wait; it needs a tailgate.

  • avatar
    gtem

    A current gen F150 4wd on mud terrains parked next to my lowly purple Ranger in the parking lot yesterday, it struck quite a contrast. Granted, I’d love to have a newer crew cab 4WD to call my own, but I can’t help but question how much actual usability in terms of being able to load and unload things from the bed has been lost in the pickup arms race. Granted, for most people, everyday utility in a pickup is having more interior room for their families and enclosed storage, not the few times a year they have to haul bulky items. I personally have the luxury of a second vehicle with multiple rows of seats and a big enclosed cargo area so my pickup can be a dedicated hauler with a regular cab.

  • avatar
    Pete Zaitcev

    B&B pile up upon the 4-door version, because it’s manifestly useless. Ford should know it better than anyone because they used to sell one of those (I don’t remember what it was called, but it was built on a small Explorer chassis (even had independent rear suspension) and was sold alongside Ranger; I’m sure some thought it was a 4-door Ranger). It sold better than Baja, but they killed it anyway. Obvious, right?

    Well… I for one cannot buy a 2-seater, even though I can live with 2 doors. I think my only hope is that the GM’s patent for a convertible truck expired, so Ford can use the concept of Avalanche.

    • 0 avatar
      derekson

      Explorer Sport Trac

      • 0 avatar
        Luke42

        I always thought the Sport Track was labeled as an Explorer instead of a Ranger 4D, because it would convince buyers that the Ranger wasn’t a real truck.

        // Former Ranger owner

        • 0 avatar
          Lie2me

          It was somewhat of a hybrid between the Ranger and Explorer as explained here…

          “The Ford Explorer Sport Trac (also shortened to Ford Sport Trac) is a truck that was manufactured and marketed by Ford Motor Company for North America. The first mid-size pickup truck produced by Ford, the Sport Trac was marketed from the 2001 to the 2010 model years (skipping the 2006 model year). Sized between the Ranger (whose crew cab variants were sold outside of North America) and the F-150, the Sport Trac largely competed against crew-cab variants of the Chevrolet Colorado/GMC Canyon, Dodge Dakota, Nissan Frontier, and Toyota Tacoma.

          Produced over two generations, the Ford Explorer Sport Trac shared its chassis and much of its body from the Ford Explorer SUV (with the pickup truck bed designed specifically for the model line). All production was sourced from the Louisville Assembly Plant in Louisville, Kentucky (taking the place of the Ford Ranger). ”

          -Wikipedia

          • 0 avatar
            gtem

            1st gen SportTrac was carry-over underpinnings from the jellybean explorer/Ranger, leaf spring rear suspension etc, much like the Explorer Sport in the earl 2000s. For the ’06 MY the Sport trac went fully over to the newer Explorer frame with IRS and same interior.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            Um, the Ford Falcon was around long before the Sport Trac, with V8s even.

            Again Wikipedia shows its shortcomings

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            The Ford Falcon Ranchero wasn’t a truck, it was a car-based ute

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            Lie2me,
            No, have a look.

            The Falcon came as a cab chassis as well. There are many flat bed Falcon trucks around. This equals truck.

            You’ll also notice the Falcon truck bed was independent of the cab.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            The Ford Ranchero is a coupe utility that was produced by Ford between 1957 and 1979. Unlike a pickup truck, the Ranchero was adapted from a two-door station wagon platform that integrated the cab and cargo bed into the body. A total of 508,355 units were produced during the model’s production run. Over its lifespan it was variously derived from full-sized, compact, and intermediate automobiles sold by Ford for the North American market.

            -Wikipedia

            I’m really surprised that you of all people would question the origins of a ute

            More from Wikipedia…

            The first Ford Model T and Model A pickup trucks were created from sedans by placing a truck box behind the body of a car truncated behind the driver’s seat. In 1934, Ford Australia’s designer Lew Bandt modified a coupe with a smoothly integrated loadbed that could be used like a car to drive to church or to deliver pigs to market. This created the coupe utility which remains a popular body style known as the “ute” in Australia. In North America, pickup trucks evolved into a heavier duty form with cabs and beds that were quite distinct from passenger automobiles. The Ranchero was the first postwar American vehicle of its type adapted from a popular sedan from the factory. It combined the sleek looks of a sedan with the utility of a light-duty pickup truck.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            Lie2me,
            The argument is diverging from the fact that Wikipedia has claims that the Sport Trac was the first midsize pickup from Ford. I disputed thia as illustrated below;

            “Utility
            The range of AU Falcon Utility vehicles was launched in June 1999. It offered Falcon XL, XLS, XR6 and XR8 style side utility models, a cab-chassis model and a cab-chassis with factory fitted drop-side tray.[17] The latter was the first tray utility vehicle that Ford Australia had produced for several years.
            The body of the AU Falcon utility differed in design from the competing Holden Ute in that the cargo tray was separate from the cab, whereas the tray was an integral part of the body shell in the Holden. As a result, this allowed the rear to accept different after market body types, including tray decks, service bodies, and camper van shells. Unlike the sedan, the AU Falcon utility vehicles were very popular.”

            Unless you want to state the Ford Falcon ute is a full size.

            As you can see the AU Falcon Ute is indeed a truck with a chassis that accepts different use beds, service backs, campers, etc.

          • 0 avatar
            tbustah

            So you’re basically saying that the later Falcon utes are trucks because they were body-on-frame?

            You know what else is body-on-frame? Pretty much everything built before the 1970s. Unibody construction existed before then, but it was far from the norm until well into the 1980s. In other words, body-on-frame design (whatever the case may be with what’s being made today) is not the sole domain of trucks. I’m not even entirely sure that the last Falcon utes were body-on-frame in the first place. All of the pictures of the cab chassis version I’ve found look more like it’s a subframe hanging off the cab, nor can I find any source stating which way ANY of the FG Falcons swing. It’s possible that ALL of the FGs were body-on-frame. If so, are you going to tell me that the FG sedans are trucks too?

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            Well, um, ok, but the picture above and the conversation is about NORTH AMERICAN small trucks and utes

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            Lie2me,
            No, the Wikipedia article states that the Sport Trac was the first midsize pickup. It’s not that hard.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            @BigAl:

            Wikipedia is at least somewhat crowd-sourced and not always accurate.

            The first truly mid-sized truck was NOT the Ford Sport Trac but rather the far older Dodge Dakota, which was larger than any compact, including the Ford Ranger and GM’s S-series trucks in the 80s yet still smaller than full-sized. The Dakota remained so until the early ’00s when GM brought out the first generation Colorado/Canyon and Ford’s Ranger grew notably as well.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            No, Wikipedia is saying that the Sport Trac is the first mid-size pick-up PRODUCED BY FORD, not the first mid-size pick-up ever and Al keeps trying to include everything that ever came out of Oz

  • avatar
    Old Scold

    Ford Folderol

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    @Lie2me: Personally, I don’t care WHO makes them, I only care that they make them small ENOUGH… meaning no less than 25% smaller than a full-sized truck with a similar body style. I’m fine with a sub-6′ width. I’d be ecstatic for a sub-6′ height. and if it’s less than 15′ long, that wouldn’t bother me either… as long as it has an extended cab and can pull itself out of a muddy field if necessary (meaning give it 150+ horses, not the lowly 112 horses I have on my “little” ’97 Ranger.

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      Yeah, I get that, but it could be a long wait, because at this point we can’t even define what a small truck is much less actually build one

      Oh, BTW are we still waiting on the Hyundai Santa Cruz or is that now DOA?

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        I wish I knew, L2m. Some say it’s still coming, others say it will be closer to the modern mid-sized truck. Someone clearly needs to break the ice with a true smaller truck just to show the others there really is a market for them.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        Lie2me,
        The Santa Cruz will not suffice as an effective pickup/ute. If you look at the design it will only come as a twin cab and the pickup will verge on useless.

        These types of tiny pickups are at best single cab, and maybe a foot behind the seats so it’s a semi-extra cab, similar to how Aussie utes are/were made.

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    Useless to whom, Big Al? Far too many assumptions are made about the types of vehicles people want. In my own case, had Subaru kept the Baja even one more year, there’s a good chance I would have purchased that instead of the JKU Wrangler I did. I don’t have a need for a LARGE bed, just enough that I can carry some materials. Yes, the Avalanche’s convertible system to allow a larger load is very convenient but the Avalanche itself was full-sized and therefore too large in height and width for my needs and wants.

    I personally like the concept of the Santa Cruz and the extendable bed concept makes it far more useful than you might imagine, even if it’s not capable of carrying work-truck loads. Even the Fiat Toro (based on the Mitsubishi a couple years back) was a surprisingly capable truck for light duty for its size, even if it’s payload wasn’t compatible with the “average” half-ton truck. I would happily sacrifice some bed length even on my ’97 Ranger to have some storage room in the cab for gear and weather-sensitive cargo.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      Vulpine,
      I’m not against the size of the Santa Cruz just the design philosophy.

      It’s quite poor compared to other tiny utes.

      The Diablo tray back is about the best I’ve seen. 54mpg! And it can carry a ton.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        Big Al, I personally like the design philosophy; it has an aerodynamic nose better than almost every American pickup truck and to me the extendable bed is an ideal compromise between in-traffic agility and longer-load capacity when needed. I don’t ever need to carry a ton in the bed; I’m more concerned about bulk that typically doesn’t have that much weight attached. The heaviest load I’ve carried, EVER, in a pickup truck barely reached 1000 pounds while the largest loads fit completely inside of an 8′ long bed with the tailgate up and barely weighed 300 pounds. The most my Ranger has carried has been about 600 pounds or so, not counting driver and passenger. But I can also tell you that what I have carried in those trucks would not have fit inside similarly-sized CUVs or even SUVs, except, maybe, the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited for one of the Ranger’s loads. As such, the bed design of the Santa Cruz is almost ideal for my needs while its size fits my wants rather nicely.

        Maybe it’s because I’m better at fitting a load than most others. I don’t just stuff things in, I use my head to work balance and form for the best fit… like playing a game of real-life Tetris with no time limit.

  • avatar
    snakebit

    FWIW(if this gold Ranchero is largely stock), it’s a 1963 Ranchero.

  • avatar
    GoFaster58

    Hey, Mr. Ford, make it available here in the United States too. We want a small pick-em-up! We don’t need no stinkin’ big, huge overpriced truck!

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