This isn’t a new news report. It surfaced a couple of years ago and promptly fell over the edge of the world (not the north side, the south). Ford had discussed a baby Ranger, based on the Focus platform, a couple of years ago.
Sub-Ranger-Sized Pickup Shown Early
At that time, Ford exhibited the baby Ranger at various auto shows. It did create lots of excitement. The excitement comes from the fact that there is no entry level vehicle anymore in the Ford lineup. Aside from looking for a sub-Ranger, Ford keeps drivers safe with a recall discussed by my colleague Jimmy Dinsmore here.
Ford intends to use the baby Ranger in place of cars like the Focus and Fiesta that brought in many first-time buyers.
Automotive publications and websites have this habit of trying to guess when the next version of a model is coming along. Recently, The Ford Authority thought it had the introduction of the 14th generation of the Ford F-150 down pat only to find out that it didn't. I wrote about the issue here.
Sub-Ranger-Sized Pickup May Be Entry Level
In the days of car sales – before Ford and General Motors decided to cut out anything relating to cars and car sales – there were entry-level vehicles that brought first-time buyers into the Ford showrooms.
Usually, the vehicle was an entry-level car that encouraged customers to come into a dealership and begin a relationship with the store.
Sub-Ranger-Sized Pickup To Have Sales Path
As a relationship hopefully developed, Ford car owners either moved up the car pricing stratosphere, into more powerful vehicles and finally into the major metal where cost was no object.
Or, the buyer may have moved fully into the truck track, often settling there. At once, this buyer probably turned around and looked for the $20,000 to $30,000 inventory.
Sub-Ranger-Sized Pickups Once Mazda B-Series Trucks
Smaller, low-end pickups like the early Ford Ranger – borrowed from Mazda B pickup – were available in the earlier in this century as were compact pickups from Nissan and Toyota. Toyota led this market for many years because there was no alternative.
Now with the emergence of the Ford Ranger as healthy competition, Toyota’s top place isn’t very secure.
Sub-Ranger-Sized Pickups Spark Competition
But, what if the buyer needs or wants an entry level vehicle, something priced under the Ranger? The sub-Ranger-sized pickups should be the answer.
It would be a truck that is strong enough to handle the bumps and grinds of everyday work or driving and be ready to take on whatever the owner may want to do over the weekend.
Sub-Ranger-Sized Pickups Answer Many Questions
Ford answered that question recently when it showed 100 of its top dealers – highest-volume stores – a sub-Ranger-sized pickup. The event occurred in Tucson last month, said Automotive News. The new truck was well received.
The mini-pickup carries the codename 758. The automaker has plans to release the small pickup by the end of next year. The publication said it would have a starting price under $20,000.
Sub-Ranger-Sized Pickups Carry Aggressive Price
Such aggressive pricing would put it at least $5,000 less expensive than a base Ranger.
Ford’s planning calls for the automaker to use its Hermosillo, Mexico plant to build the mini-Ranger. Indeed, Ford hopes to use the Mexican plant to make at least 100,000 copies of the baby Ranger yearly.
As you might find with a good detective mystery, where would you look for clues to any entry-level vehicles that might provide a backdrop for the pricing and content of entry-level cars?
Sub-Ranger-Sized Pickups Looked At Possibilities
Remember, entry-level vehicles in Ford were the Focus and the Fiesta, hardly truck-like vehicles. Indeed, just comparing the Fiesta and Focus to a mini-Ranger is nearly impossible.
About the only chance, there might be a comparison for background purposes that would be narrowly limited solely in the amount charged for each vehicle and the content. Other than that, there could be no meaningful comparison.
Sub-Ranger-Sized Pickups May Have
So, what do we know thus far and this far away from their intro next year:
- The new pickup would replace the Fiesta and Focus as the automaker’s entry-level vehicles.m
- The new entry level pickup would use the new Euro-spec Focus.
- There would be two engines available a 1.5-liter gas turbo engine four and a larger 2.0-liter gas turbo-four.
- The transmission would be an eight-speed, torque-converter automatic.
- The name hasn’t been revealed yet.
- There is a rumor circulating that one team favors the Courier.
- Another naming solution circulating right now has been put forth by the Brazilian Motor1 team, the revival of the Ranchero nameplate. The Torque News team believes it should be the Brushbuster.
Sub-Ranger-Sized Pickups To Go On Sale in 2021 or 2022
Whatever the name might be, Ford may introduce that the new model South America first with a market launch in North America coming in either late 2021 or early 2022.
Marc Stern has been an auto writer since 1971. It was a position that filled two boyhood dreams: One was that I would write, and two that I write about cars. When I took over as my newspaper's auto editor, I began a 32-year career as an automotive columnist. There isn't much on four wheels that I haven't driven or reviewed. My work has appeared in Popular Mechanics, Mechanix Illustrated, AutoWeek, SuperStock, Trailer Life, Old Cars Weekly, Special Interest Autos, and others. Today, I am the Ford F150 reporter for Torque News. I write how-to and help columns for online sites such as Fixya.com and others. You can follow me on Twitter or Facebook. Most of Marc's stories can be found at Torque News Ford coverage. Check back again and search for Torque News Ford F-150 news for more F-150 truck news coverage.