Bow your heads, and let’s have a moment of silence for the beloved Ford Ranger, which disappears from the Ford catalog in the U.S. in 2011. Once the top-selling truck in its class (from 1987 through 2004), the Ranger has fallen victim to plummeting sales and declining segment interest. People aren’t buying compact trucks like they used to, and the current generation Ford Ranger hasn’t received a significant update since 1998. Throw in the absurd CAFE regulations that manufacturers will have to meet in just a few years, and you can see why the Ranger has been taken off of life support. If the Ranger has to die so that the Mustang GT can live, I’m OK with that.
Ironically, the Ranger is being replaced by a new Ford Ranger pickup in other markets. Per LeftLane News, the 2012 Ranger will be larger than the outgoing truck, but will still be quite a bit smaller than an F-150. The new Ranger will be unveiled in Sydney, Australia, on October 15, and Ford plans exports to 180 global markets. Multiple engine options, including diesel variants, will be offered, and all of them will be more fuel efficient than engine choices in the outgoing Ranger.
So what are U.S. buyers to do? Ford’s logic has them buying compact cars, like the Fiesta or the Focus, but I certainly don’t see it. More likely, they’ll head on over to Toyota, who’d be very happy to sell them a Tacoma, or to Nissan, who still sells plenty of Frontier compact pickups. Buyers wanting an American option can still opt for a Chevy Colorado or GMC Canyon, and Jeep’s Wrangler based pickup is just a few years out.