Back in 2011, Ford made the predictable mistake of dropping the Ranger from their North American portfolio. Predictable because the move to right-size vehicles was already underway and, well, the Ranger was a smash hit.
Full-size pickup sales are strong so far this year in the US and, interestingly, the average transaction price has risen over the last few years. This is understandable given the luxury-car levels of amenities and technology now available on these trucks. These higher sale prices leave a large opening for Ford to insert a lesser expensive and more compact truck below the ever-popular F-Series.
According to sources, the Michigan Assembly Plant may become the location of choice for the next Ranger, which is by the way, still sold in over 200 markets worldwide. This plant currently assembles the Focus and C-Max but production is slated to move by 2018.
At the moment, the Toyota Tacoma owns the segment and the Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon are two viable and popular alternatives. The coming of the next Ranger would surely narrow the gap between the 1.2 million big pickups sold and the 211k midsize deliveries.
One way or another, the Ford Ranger needs to make a comeback. By then, the Tacoma and GM twins will likely have been facelifted from their recent current revamps.
Pickup fans, rejoice, another one is coming! Well, hopefully.