Why Ford says it is time to resurrect the 2019 Ford Ranger midsize pickup
Ford roared back into the midsize pickup market with the introduction of the all-new 2019 Ford Ranger. Ford stopped making the Ranger model in 2011 and threw all its truck resources into its popular Ford F-150. The automaker says now is the time to get back into the midsize competition because sales of midsize trucks have jumped 83 percent since 2014.
General Motors already jumped back into the midsize arena with the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon. The Toyota Tacoma is a huge seller in that market, while the Nissan Frontier has also carved out a smaller slice of the pie.
“Ranger has always held a special place in the hearts of truck fans,” said Hau Thai-Tang, Ford executive vice president, Product Development and Purchasing. “The all-new Ranger is designed for today’s midsize truck buyer, delivering even more utility, capability and technology for those who blend city living with more off-the-grid adventures on weekends.”
Ford claims that the new Ranger has been “torture-tested alongside Ford F-150 trucks.” It is built with a high-strength steel frame backbone and is powered by a 2.3 liter EcoBoost engine paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission.
A Truck Built for the City or Off-Roading
Ford appears to be taking direct aim at the popular Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro off-roading vehicle with a new FX4 Off-Road package that adds “protective skid plates, upgraded tires, off-road-tuned shocks and suspension, while Terrain Management System™ and Trail Control™ help navigate challenging conditions; a suite of innovative technologies includes standard Automatic Emergency Braking to help avoid collisions.”
The Ranger will be available in both 2-wheel-drive and 4-wheel- drive configurations. It will also have both 2 and 4 door models.
Some have speculated that the Ranger will have a special Raptor model much like the F-150 Raptor, but nothing like that was unveiled at the Ranger introduction. Production for the new 2019 Ford Ranger will start later this year at Ford’s Michigan Assembly Plant.
Could the Ranger cut into F-150’s Territory?
The return of the Ford Ranger has been rumored for years, especially after the Chevy and GMC versions reappeared. The Ranger has still been sold in other parts of the world just not in North America. Ford was intent on making the switch to aluminum for the F-150 and the changeover for tooling was incredibly expensive. The huge investment has paid off. The Ford F-Series just wrapped up its 41st year as the best- selling vehicle in North America.
Some have worried that the Ranger could cut into some of those sales. Analysts say that the buyers for a midsize truck are more interested in sports or off-roading while the full-size truck buyer usually uses the vehicle for work. The Ford Ranger will still have to play catch up to the rest of the pack. It won’t be out until 2019 but Ford says that it will have enough special features to overtake the competition.