In Which The Ranger Rant Once Again Appears

Saturday, 2 September 2006, 13:22 | Category : RangerRants
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I know, this is getting old, and very much in the category of tilting at windmills. But this quote set it off for me this morning:

“It is true based on sales that we see that consumers are shifting toward smaller trucks,” said Kiho Tsuruta, spokesman for Nissan North America. “For us it is the Frontier and the Murano.”

The Frontier gets, with it’s 4-cylinder engine, 25 miles per gallon highway, 22 city. The Ford Ranger 4-cylinder gets 29 mpg highway, 24 city. Ford could tweak the Ranger a little and push that to 30 highway. So is Ford saying anything in the vein of “we see consumers shifting towards smaller trucks, and we’ve got the small truck that gets the best mileage of any truck”? Hardly. What Ford has said is that the only plant making Rangers in the US will close next year. Nothing more about the Ranger’s future. It doesn’t show up on lists of planned updates and replacements through 2010.

So does this really surprise anyone?

Ford Ranger U.S. Sales

August 2006: 7,986
August 2005: 14,129

2006 Year To Date: 65,122
2005 Year To Date: 89,802

That’s down 43.5% for August versus last year, and 27.5% for the year. You don’t orphan a vehicle and then expect people to continue buying it. There was a time when the Ranger was the best small truck on the road. Now it’s a symbol of Ford’s pathological inability to understand their market.