Ford Ranger production to end on December 22, 2011
This should not come as a huge surprise as Ford has stated for some time that 2011 would be the final year for the North American Ford Ranger pickup but in the United Auto Workers 879’s June-August newsletter, the official final day of production was announced. The Ford Twin Cities Assembly Plant is currently the oldest plant in operation, having first opened in 1924, but with the end of the Ford Ranger production the Twin Cities facility is facing its demise.
Ford has introduced a new Ranger pickup but there are no plans to bring it to the US market. Instead of offering the compact Ranger in the US, Ford hopes that buyers will instead look at the entry level F150 as it offers class-leading fuel economy and far more capabilities than the Ranger. According to a report by Autoblog in 2010, many Ranger owners do not buy these models because they are trucks but instead, because they are among the least expensive and most fuel efficient vehicles on the market.
In killing off the Ranger, Ford hopes to “shake the fence” and see which way these previous small-truck buyers fall. It seems that Ford believes that those who want a low priced, efficient pickup will turn to the Ford F150 and those who simply want a low priced, fuel efficient vehicle (truck or not) will look to their new, super efficient models like the Fiesta and the new 2012 Ford Focus.
The other side of the equation would be those consumers who do buy models like the Ford Ranger because it offers some truck abilities like light towing and hauling while also getting great fuel mileage and not being a “big truck”. Unfortunately, those buyers will be sent out into the market to find a replacement vehicle if they don’t want to step up to the larger F-Series, although the sluggish sales of small trucks like the Chevrolet Colorado and Dodge Dakota are bringing a demise to both of those models as well – so it looks like there won’t be that many consumers put out by the termination of the Ranger. However, for those select few consumers who want a compact pickup, they may turn to the likes of the Nissan Frontier or the Toyota Tacoma if the GM, Ford or Chrysler's Ram brand don't come up with a modern alternative to these smaller Japanese pickups.
Other Ford News:
Ford to feature bolder fonts inside vehicles to help drivers of every age
Ford expanding inflatable rear seatbelt availability to Flex and Lincoln vehicles
The 2012 Ford Focus paces NASCAR’s Heluva Good 400
The Ford Mustang plant could be in trouble