By on October 23, 2018

Good news: the Ford F-150 will not be discontinued as a result of the runaway popularity of the 2019 Ford Ranger. Phew.

As the Blue Oval readies its midsize pickup for a winter launch, Joe Hinrichs, head of global operations, claimed Monday that the automaker doesn’t expect much cross shopping among would-be Ford pickup buyers. Frankly, this would have only been a concern if buyers focused on a truck’s tow rating and nothing else. Still, Hinrichs felt it needed to be said.

Ranger folks are not F-150 folks.

“There always will be some substitution, but this is more of a lifestyle vehicle for people who want to use it for different purposes,” Hinrichs said at the Ranger’s Detroit-area plant ahead of production kick-off. “The F-150’s gotten bigger over time and more expensive. We believe there’s room now to slot the Ranger in very nicely in the showroom.”

Ford raised considerable ire in the TTAC den with its lofty pricing compared to other midsize options. A base Ranger SuperCab XL starts at $25,395 with destination, rising to just shy of the $30k threshold with four-wheel drive added. Moving to an XLT 4×2 requires an outlay of $29,035. Of course, the sky’s the limit for deep-pocketed buyers.

What Ranger buyers can’t count on at launch is helpful incentives, something 2019 F-150 buyers already have access to. Minus available incentives, a 2019 F-150 XL regular cab starts at $29,68 after destination. The SuperCab XL retails for $33,735. Looking to build from that entry-level starting point? Tack on $4,645 for four-wheel motivation, $995 for Ford’s sweet 2.7-liter EcoBoost V6, or $1,995 for a 5.0-liter V8.

F-150 buyers gain a substantial increase in real estate for their extra cash, which is why the bigger pickup will continue serving a replacement for the traditional family sedan. The lifestyle buyers Hinrichs envisions won’t see much of a decrease in towing capacity, as the Ranger’s turbo 2.3-liter four-cylinder provides enough oomph (270 hp, 310 lb-ft) to tug 7,500 pounds, just 200 lbs shy of the max rating of a base F-150 XL with 3.3-liter V6. That’s more likely to swing buyers from the Ranger’s midsize rivals.

Over the first nine months of 2018, midsize truck sales grew 18 percent in the U.S., despite the market’s overall stagnation.

[Image: Ford Motor Company]

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51 Comments on “The Ranger’s No Cannibal, Ford Says...”


  • avatar
    Syke

    It’ll be interesting to see how many potential customers wait for the inevitable cash on the hood. And how long it takes for it to appear.

    I can’t believe Ford is expecting anyone to pay the asking prices. Then again, in today’s market, the opening asking price is nothing more than the starting point against what the actual selling price is going to be figured.

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      Cash on the hood?… about a month after introduction

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      Ford learned their lesson with the previous Ranger. There is no money in catering to the “cheapskate” demographic.
      I rarely ever see bottom spec Colorado’s or Tacoma’s. Most are mid spec and up.
      It took Chevy a few years to throw rebates at the Colorado and those pale in comparison to typical 1/2 ton rebates.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        The Chevy dealership where I bought my Colorado had a single WT on the lot. Two LTs and, if you count ’18s and ’19s, about five Z71s. Their Silverado collection was quite a bit bigger but even there I think only one or two WT models. Most of those were Z71s as well.

  • avatar
    Gardiner Westbound

    The market has to be close to “maximum pickup”, the point where everyone who wants a pickup has one. Let’s see what happens to prices and incentives then.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus

      Absolutely, because they never get used up, wrecked or just traded in for upgrade purposes. Perhaps every one that wants any vehicle has one, so they can just go ahead and shut factories down and move on.

      Maybe instead, we’ve reached “peak sedan”, where every one who wants one has already bought one. Except for Hertz and Avis, of course.

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      I don’t know if we’ll reach “peak pick-up”, because every lost sedan sale is a potential pick-up sale

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      There are those who simply don’t want a full-sized pickup but they are die-hard Ford fans. Too many supposed ‘experts’ think mid-size buyers are strictly “lifestyle” buyers when honestly the majority of pickup owners are “lifestyle” buyers. But someone who only needs a pickup part time for actual work will probably snap up these smaller trucks because they’ll have better fuel economy as a daily driver than a full-sized model as well as better handling due to there (slightly) shorter wheelbase.

      I think Ford’s about to realize just how much of a mistake they made by abandoning the mid-sized market in the first place.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        Midsize pickups are widely referred to as the “lifestyle” pickup (class) for a very good reason. Look around at who’s driving them. A lot of elderly and teens, plus the sports activity crowd, mountain bikers, jet ski, Kayak, off-road park, etc.

        Figure “3/4 ton” to dually HDs have the least “lifestyle” buyers, 2nd most are 1/2 ton pickup, lifestyle buyers, with midsize pickups doing the least “work” out of all of them, not just from lack of capability. They’re the perfect “cool” sporty alternative to the CUV especially when the kids are off to college, empty nesters, never had kids, etc.

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          For once I can’t argue with you, DM; the “working truck” people all buy F-250s or higher. That’s why the mid-sized trucks could easily replace the half-tons of the world and nobody would really care. Even now, a mid-sizer can tow a 25-foot travel trailer with ease, which is about all the half-tons ever do (though admittedly they can tow up to a 28-footer or one of the smaller (but not compact) fifth-wheel trailers.

          BUT… some of those “lifestylers” do real work with their smaller trucks… not through heavy loads but through bulky or aromatic loads that can’t or won’t go into an enclosed cabin. One of the previous Ranger’s biggest customers was, as I recall, Orkin…who also bought the very last one off the assembly line. I’m betting these guys will be happy to have a smaller, lighter truck back in their fleet.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Oh. And don’t forget NAPA. They liked the old Ranger too.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            Half tons are the Goldilocks of pickups. Yeah quite a few prefer the other extremes, but for most of us, 1/2 tons are just right. Yes they’re too much truck sometimes, but often not enough truck.

            Comfort or the feeling of confinement aside, It’s far better to have it and not need it, than…

            Orkin has to have the smallest pickup they can get, within reason, for tight situations around and behind buildings, trees, etc.

            For delivery, regular parcels, midsize pickups are just fine, but I know NAPA uses fullsize pickups to scramble to their distribution warehouses a couple times a day.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Very funny, Mike. Either way, you prove my point that even mid-sizers do “real work.”

            And my local NAPA uses two different vehicles… a 2011 Ford Ranger and a cargo version of the Town and Country minivan. They don’t even have a full-sized pickup in their parking lot.

          • 0 avatar
            Oberkanone

            Orkin is rolling Toyota Tacoma. Orkin leases 5000 and purchases 2000 annually. In an article before the Ranger production ended there was interview with Ford spokesperson where they waxed about the great relationship and history with Orkin. They said Orkin would continue with Ford with F-150 and Transit Connect filling the role of Ranger.
            Ford sold over 70,000 Ranger it’s final year of production. So roughly 10% went to Orkin.
            Ford walked away from the Ranger market in 2012.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            You don’t “see” them ’cause they’re always on the road… WORKING!

            I know some the NAPA drivers, doing the longer distance runs, so I recognize/spot them on the road, and know what to look for on the trucks, usually Siverados, and they’re unmarked, just plain jane, fleet white.

            If at the NAPA (momentarily), those Silverados look like any custormer’s trucks, or they’re parked way out back, loading dock, etc.

            But yeah, midsize pickups do perform a lot of “work”, it’s true, even if just very light-duty. But since they’re mostly “lifestyle” pickups, it’s usually their 2nd or 3rd owners, landscapers, handymen, etc.

            Sort of like Jeep Wranglers mostly never seeing mud/off-road until they’re deep into their 2nd life.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            “Orkin is rolling Toyota Tacoma. Orkin leases 5000 and purchases 2000 annually.”

            — I expect Orkin (and others) to move back to the Ranger now that Ford’s bringing it back. Maybe not this year (2019 model) or even next (2020 model) but very probably after that, when Ford decides to offer fleet pricing on them.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @Oberkanone – It was known Orkin would stay in the midsize class (even if it killed them). Orkin tries to avoid fullsize pickups since they need to squeeze the trucks into tight places behind structures, in between trees, utilities, AC units, shrubs, etc.

            And no the Transit Connect was never an option, since Orkin carries toxic/noxious chemicals which can’t ever be inside the cab, what so ever.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            @DM.”You don’t “see” them ’cause they’re always on the road… WORKING!”
            — There you go, thinking you know-it-all again. Are you telling me they’re working at all hours of the night? My local NAPA only has two vehicles… A Ranger and a minivan. The location serves the entire county.

            “I know some the NAPA drivers, doing the longer distance runs, so I recognize/spot them on the road, and know what to look for on the trucks, usually Siverados, and they’re unmarked, just plain jane, fleet white.”
            — You know one or two franchised operations. That’s not the whole company or even representative of the whole company.

            “If at the NAPA (momentarily), those Silverados look like any custormer’s trucks, or they’re parked way out back, loading dock, etc.”
            — All of the NAPA operations around me (I live in a three-state area) have the NAPA logo on the doors and tailgate. Our particular location even has the NAPA hat on the roof of the Ranger.

            “But yeah, midsize pickups do perform a lot of “work”, it’s true, even if just very light-duty.”
            — Something you used to deny adamantly.

            “But since they’re mostly “lifestyle” pickups, it’s usually their 2nd or 3rd owners, landscapers, handymen, etc.”
            — … except for corporate fleets, who buy them brand-new.

            “Sort of like Jeep Wranglers mostly never seeing mud/off-road until they’re deep into their 2nd life.”
            — Sort of half-true. Mine saw off-road on a yearly-plus basis as my father-in-law lived on a farm, so not only did mine go out for fun, it went out on the farm, too. Besides, the Wrangler is amazing for cutting through deep snow before the plows hit the roads (one state near me doesn’t plow until the snow stops) and punching through the berm the plows pile up along the streets, blocking driveways and parking spaces. The shorter wheelbase means it can go over where most 4×4 pickups would get high-centered.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            I don’t “know I all”, but I’m very familiar with NAPA (KNOWHOW!). NAPA has no markings/signage on their fullsize pickups but I have friends that drive those plain wrapper Silverados so I’m always looking out for them. They’re fairly easy to spot in a sea of pickups, since they’re late model, bone stock , white, regular cab with long beds. No personalization allowed. That’s about 2% of all fullsize pickups.

            I never said they run 24 hours, just like I’ve never said midsize pickup never perform any work. Yeah corporate fleets have always loved midsize pickups, especially regular cabs until automakers took them away. The could be utilized instead of fleet compact sedans, and 3-door subcompacts with miserable resale value, especially when there’s no real need/want for 2nd row seats or 4-doors.

            But definitely For

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            Definitely Ford is in position to take the Taco’s lunch, especially with fleets, more so in middle America. Across the US, there has to at least a million companies/corps with “American” in their title, DBA, etc, American Flad or both, if not similar theme, so Japanese brand trucks and Hecho en Tijuana may be on the out.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            @DM: There you go, moving the goalposts again.

            • I never said they run 24 hours,…
            — “You don’t “see” them ’cause they’re always on the road… WORKING!”

            • I’ve never said midsize pickup never perform any work…
            — “Midsize pickups are widely referred to as the “lifestyle” pickup (class) for a very good reason. Look around at who’s driving them. A lot of elderly and teens, plus the sports activity crowd, mountain bikers, jet ski, Kayak, off-road park, etc.”
            On this one, you’ve iterated one statement in particular for over 6 years! “But since they’re mostly “lifestyle” pickups, it’s usually their 2nd or 3rd owners, landscapers, handymen, etc.” In fact, you’ve insisted that NO showroom buyer ever ‘works’ their mid-sized pickup. And no, I don’t intend to pull out all of your arguments in opposition to mid-sized pickups after Ford dropped the Ranger in ’11. You’ve argued for at least that long that the mid-sized truck has no purpose OR CUSTOMERS.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            It’s widely known NAPA isn’t a 24 Hours store, but whatever, I’ll let you have that one. Since you know very little of what you speak of here, you take an irrelevant, side argument, and take to the literal extreme. There’s a word for that, but you’ll complain I’m using it in the wrong context.

            I hardly ever use words like “always, never, every” and the like. Especially around you since you’d rather discuss semantics, than autos/trucks and the industry which you know very little about.

            But hey, we’re all here to learn.

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            The Napas around here usually use small cars like Versas for much of their fleets. Then they have a Ranger, Colorado or Frontier or two. Very few use Toyotas and even fewer use Full Size. If it is a large vehicle then it is Usually an Econoline, Transit or one of the GM Vans.

            Now the Oriely’s they are pretty much all old Rangers and some Frontiers.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          Anyone who buys a pickup for anything other than use “on the job” is a lifestyle buyer.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            @Lou_BC: Kinda depends on the individual definition of the term, “lifestyle.” For some, a truck is nothing but a status symbol; for others, a part-time worker; while for still others, it’s their means of life in farming, ranching or small business. “Lifestyle”, as those who would use it as an insult would have it, tends to be the toy-hauler/status symbol people.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      “max/peak pickup”

      What’s funny is thanks to all this NAFTA bullsh!t going on, Mexico is quietly taxing the hell out of “normally” cheap to import into Mexico, used 2nd hand, USA (sold new) pickups. About a 100% “tariff”.

      It’s simply Mexico further protecting its new vehicle market.

      Formerly we would lose up to a couple million pickups a year to Mexico. Consider a couple of decades ago, Mexico banned the import of USA used cars and guess what happened next, to our used car market?

      The same could happen to the US used pickup market, especially with the up to 3 million new pickups sold every year.

      Currently in the US, approx 1 in 8 new vehicles sold is a pickup, but on the road it’s something like 1 in 20, in most places.

  • avatar
    phila_DLJ

    With all the time they seem to have taken preparing the global truck for U.S. consumption, you’d think they’d have come up with something better than “awkwardly retrofitting F-Series-like grilles on the Ranger’s face.”

    I imagine Silverado and Sierra get more cash on the hood than Colorado or Canyon, but the combined GM quartet outsold the F-Series by 27,738 units, 25,274 of which were the Canyon, the weakest seller of the group.

    I’m certain the Ranger can and will do better than that, funny face or not.

  • avatar
    JohnTaurus

    Yes, the Ranger sure is expensive. I mean, to get a Colorado with similar power, you’d only pay $3,000 more.

    Or, you could get a 154 hp Tacoma for the *same price* as a Ranger with 270 hp. But, I don’t recall repeated comments in articles calling it too expensive. Of course not, even if it isn’t worth it, its a $Toyota!

    The only truck that is actually cheaper would be the Frontier, but that’s what you get when you have a brand new 14 year old truck.

  • avatar
    TimK

    I’d be interested in a hybrid version — knowing it would have reduced towing capacity. The ability to drive 20 miles on battery with ~ 30 MPG highway is the sweet spot. Honda is working on a hybrid Ridgeline but the price of that package is going to push $50K.

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    “Ranger folks are not F-150 folks.”
    — Exactly the point. Remember, Ford effectively told their Ranger folks to either buy the Focus or the F-150. About half of them did neither.

    “’There always will be some substitution, but this is more of a lifestyle vehicle for people who want to use it for different purposes,’”
    — Yeah. And those who bought the F-150 because they had no other choice to stay with a Ford product will be ecstatic that they now have a smaller option from Ford, even if it is still too big.

    So I believe Ford’s going to see a drop in F-series sales by about 100,000, plus or minus.

    • 0 avatar
      JMII

      “The F-150’s gotten bigger over time and more expensive. We believe there’s room now to slot the Ranger in very nicely in the showroom.”

      Finally a truthful statement from auto executive.

      I don’t need anything bigger or more expensive then my current (but aging) ’02 Dakota Quad Cab 4.7l V8. $30K seems like a reasonable price for Ranger if it tows as much as my old Dakota. I owned a Ranger before but back then the 4.0l V6 just wasn’t enough to tow efficiently. The GM twins are little too big in the flesh so I’ll have to see how the Ranger compares.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      GM saw some 1/2 ton cannibalization with the Colorado/Canyon but I suspect that most of it occurred in their own CUV/SUV ranks. Just like CUV/SUV sales cannibalize car sales.

  • avatar
    94metro

    Count me as someone waiting for the inventives. Also for the manual option.

    I’m about two years away from being financially able to buy a new truck. It will likely be the ranger if there’s a stick shift by then, the frontier if not.

    I plan on owning it for 25 years, it’s my “drive until ICE or non-autonomous vehicles are banned” truck.

  • avatar
    Oberkanone

    There is no market for Ranger. There is a F-150 or Ford Van configuation to fit the needs of everyone who might think they would buy a Ranger.
    Well, at least this was the message for was selling since 2012.

  • avatar
    Oberkanone

    The Ranger has gotten bigger over time and more expensive. We believe there is room now to make full sized profit on midsize trucks. ..cough…cough…

  • avatar
    Clueless Economist

    I predict the Ranger will be the number one best selling midsize truck in 2019 (based on months sold) and the F-150 will continue to be the best selling full-size truck. And Ram may overtake Chevy’s butt-ugly new Silverado. I also predict that the 2020 Chevy Colorado will get the 2.7 four and we will be off to the races with a real competition between the Ranger and Colorado.

  • avatar
    indi500fan

    Would be interesting to know how many walk in looking for a Colorado/Ranger and drive out with a Silverado/F-150 because “we can put you in this for basically the same payment”?

    • 0 avatar
      TimK

      That’s exactly what happened to a lard-ass relative. They went on a test drive in the smaller truck and the equally heavy salesman noticed how uncomfortable they were in the restricted cabin. He found a way to sell a Silverado at the same sticker price.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      My salesman tried that on me but I insisted it had to be a Colorado and it had to be a specific color. My wife tried to convince me to take a plain white one off the lot but I wouldn’t compromise.

      Funny thing about that. Two weeks later my accessories arrived and the installs were expected to be an all-day job, so they put me in a Silverado for the day… I put all of 12 miles on it because I refused to use it for any of my daily runs… just too blamed big for my taste and I didn’t feel like adding gas to that big tank.

  • avatar
    el scotto

    They’ve been reading the interwebz, checking various Ranger sites, briefly thinking about a Transit Connect and idly day dreaming about Mustang GT convertibles, giving the new Continental a passing thought and even thought for a few seconds that an F-150 Platinum would be the ultimate humble-brag. The whispers are turning into voices as real information becomes available. RANGER JIHAD will live again.

  • avatar
    AJ

    I’m headed to Overland Expo East in about two weeks where I’ve signed up to test drive a Ranger on what is titled “2019 Ford Ranger Tour (a ride-and-drive experience)”. I’ve been considering a pickup, like a RAM, but I may consider a midsize truck. I like the Tacoma to a point, but I’m not sold on one or a full-size, so I’ll give the Ranger a shot. I’m looking forward to getting to drive one…

  • avatar
    Hummer

    This thing looks like it was designed in 1992 in Czechoslovakia that has got to be the most outdated design on the market, and the Colorado sets that bar extremely low. I realize the price is going to end up being lowered with butt loads of cash but still, 25k for a stripper? Cars.com has no shortage of new Ram pickups for less than 25k, available for under that bar are 4 door pickups, V6, V8, and a couple diesels. Another handful are even available for under $20k. They should have at least set the bar more reasonably at 20k starting. For a design that ancient probably $15k would be even better.

  • avatar
    Johnster

    I think Ford is wrong about the new Ranger not cannibalizing sales of the F-150, but I can’t imagine it being very significant. Furthermore, if Ford didn’t offer the Ranger, a lot of Ranger buyers would instead be buying a mid-sized pickup from one of Ford’s competitors. It’s better to cannibalize F-150 sales and keep the customer in the Ford family, than to lose sales to a competitor.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      Actually the Ranger EATS Cannibals, especially the fine/young variety! So you’re both wrong, it’s that badA$$.

      It has to eat into F-150 sales, and other Fords too. Hopefully also into the sedans that are soon to be killed off.. I don’t see why not. It’s a sporty RWD coupe or “sedan” in many ways, and including 4wd, kicks off around $30K. How many cars cars do that (that aren’t Subarus)?

      But it’s not always a good thing to “not lose a sale to a competitor”, while cutting your own throat in the process. Many businesses have folded, gone bellyup, from too much watching the competitors, instead of following/capitalizing on their own strengths/ideals, into a powerful niche.

      Hit ’em where they ain’t, basically. Figure there’s millions of consumers out there, digging the pickup concept, but feel intimidated by fullsize pickup’s mass/footprint, think they’re too hard to park and or they’ll run into or clip everything.

      There’s definitely a learning curve if all they’ve ever driven/owned are compacts. What if they don’t want to learn?

      Losing about 6 inches all the way around, going to a midsize crew cab, from a fullsize super/extra cab, may be just the ideal Goldilocks of pickups for them and would have never got themselves into a fullsize pickup ever in a million years.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      There was a previous news post that Ford was focusing on retaining customers. The Ranger is one way to hang on to people who want something smaller and/or don’t want a CUV/SUV.

  • avatar
    Avid Fan

    It’s the new iFord XS. Perfect for kids and groceries or when the iFord XS Max is just too much. Soon to be available in the King Starbucks Ranchmart Depot Play Edition with lots of fun mocha frappe latte colors!!

  • avatar
    Drzhivago138

    “The F-150’s gotten bigger over time and more expensive. We believe there’s room now to slot the Ranger in very nicely in the showroom.”

    This seems like an odd thing for the head of global operations to say, because while it is technically true, the physical size difference between an old and new F-150 is less than the difference between an old and new Ranger:

    https://www.reddit.com/r/cars/comments/9pehn8/
    ford_just_confirmed_that_there_will_be_no_ranger/e87p6tc/


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