General Motors’ recent success in the midsize pickup market has not gone unnoticed by competitors, inspiring Ford to reconsider a compact pickup for US buyers. I hate to say I told you so, but I did!
To the disdain of small pickup fans, the Blue Oval discontinued the Ranger in 2011 without replacing it with a similarly sized alternative. Later reports suggest the company may have overestimated how many owners would capitulate and upgrade to a new F-150.
The Ranger nameplate is maintained abroad, however the form has been stretched into the midsize segment. Consequently it will not be brought back to the US, where it threatens to cannibalize sales of the F-150 — the best-selling vehicle in the country for more than three decades.
“We think we could sell a compact truck that’s more like the size of the old Ranger,” Ford marketing manager Doug Scott told USA Today.
Such an offering would likely fetch six to eight more mpg than full-size pickups, with a price tag $5,000-$6,000 cheaper. It is also expected to adopt a unibody structure and roll off US assembly lines.
The company has not outlined a timeframe for bringing a compact pickup back to the US market. In the meantime, GM is preparing to add a third shift at a Missouri factory to accommodate orders for its Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Sierra.