Return Of The Ford Ranger?
For a while, small, compact pickup trucks had a rough go of it. Larger trucks offered better capability, were comparably priced, and with advances in fuel economy, were not significantly worse on the pocketbook to operate. There really was not much of an incentive to buy a small truck. In 2010, Chrysler discontinued the Dodge Dakota. It was especially bad in 2011, and Ford yanked the Ranger from the North American market the next year. A year later, Chevy pulled the Colorado and the GMC Canyon. The Toyota Tacoma and the Nissan Frontier enjoyed the entire market to themselves. This year, the Colorado and Canyon twins are returning to the North American market, but we are really waiting on the return of the Ford Ranger.
No, Ford is not hinting about the return of the Ranger. We would like it to happen, though, because it has always been a popular truck. It is doing well in other countries, so well that Ford has just overhauled it. It has now had it’s look refreshed, appearing more aggressive and with a little bit of attitude. Sadly, Ford probably will not return the Ranger to us anytime soon, for a couple of reasons.
First, Ford probably does not want to erode sales of the F-150. It has been the most popular vehicle in the United States for over 30 years, and Ford surely does not want to risk losing it’s title by diluting sales. That would be akin to shooting the puck into it’s own net. Like most trucks, the F-150 is profitable, and can manage higher trim lines than the Ranger ever could.
The other reason is the Chicken Tax. The Chicken Tax, formed during the Johnson administration, imposes a 25 percent tax on certain items, including small trucks imported into the United States. To navigate around this tariff, Ford would have to invest a great deal of cash into building a plant in the U.S. to build the Ranger. This might be good for the economy, but there is no guarantee that the Ranger would be popular enough to justify the expense.
Despite these valid reasons, we still have hope that Ford will return the Ranger to North America. Few people actually need larger trucks, and mid-size pickups are now bigger than ever, nearing the dimensions of full-size trucks. Small trucks are handy, and nimble to drive, essentially two-seater cars with open cargo beds. We think there is a market for small trucks and so does GM. Next year, they plan to introduce a 2.8-litre diesel engine to it’s Canyon and Colorado, simultaneously boosting torque and improving fuel economy. At least a Ranger would provide an option to those two, keeping buyers within the Ford family, rather than losing them to Chevy.
Please Ford, return your new, good looking Ford Ranger to us.
By Linda Aylesworth – car-news.ca