Monday, June 27, 2005
2006 Ranger, is Ford just going to give up on a market it once dominated? While the Ranger is a great truck, it's underpowered and smaller than it's competitors and Ford seems unwilling to invest the money and time to save it.
For a number of years, the Ford Ranger was the number 1 selling Compact truck in the US.
And over the years, the US sourced Ranger replaced the Mazda sourced Courier in overseas markets. Overseas versions of the Ranger are well adapted to the markets they service, with a diesel option, not seen on these shores in many years and a crew cab version available everywhere but the US and Canada. Ford opting to give us the Explorer based Sport Trac.
Now Compact trucks have all moved up to Midsize status, with the exception of the Ranger and it's Mazda clone. Even GM invested heavily in their new Colorado/Canyon twins (and Isuzu clone) with new more powerful engines, stiffer chassis and a crew cab that is more inline with competitors like Dodge, Toyota and Nissan. All of these trucks have received major redesigns over the last 2 years and Ford gives us nothing more than a "new" grill.
Rumors online are that Ford is willing to throw in the towel in the fight for the Compact/Midsize truck market. This seems foolish to me and while I'm no professional, I would think that the rise of fuel prices would mean that this market may grow. I just don't see Ford giving up on it. As any reader will know I have a Ranger and I love it, wouldn't trade it for any full size truck. But to be honest if I was in the market for a new compact truck, the Nissan Frontier would be the likely choice.