No More Ranger for Ford (NYSE: F) in US After 2011
Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F) is set to stop producing their Ranger compact pickup model for the United States after 2011. The auto maker is looking to consolidate its global platforms for its pickup trucks, reducing it from three to two. An all-new Ranger will be sold outside of North America starting in the new year. Ford has plans to unveil the new Ford Ranger pickup at the auto show in Sydney Australia on October 15.
Compact pickup trucks are not selling as they once were and demand in the US is waning. The compact Rangerfirst hit the US market in 1982 and demand peaked in 1999 when 348,000 trucks were sold. Sales last year dropped to a mere 55,600. Previously, the company had announced its intention to close a manufacturing plant in St. Paul, Minnesota in 2008 but never confirmed if the compact Ranger assembly would be continued. In August, Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty met with executives at Ford to convince them to reconsider and save the jobs of the plant’s 750 workers. Ford remained firm with their decision and will close the plant in the fall of 2011.
Ford now plans to invest and market a larger variety of F-150 pickup trucks which includes V6 versions. The new version of the Ford Ranger is said to be closer in size to the current F-150 being sold in the United States.
There is one industry where the Ford Ranger is still a popular commodity. The fleet customers of Ford have been loyal to the model. Ford is hopeful they can persuade Ranger customers to consider their Transit Connect van once the Ranger has been discontinued in the US.