Fuel Prices Grant the Ford Ranger More Life

Discussion in 'OT Driven' started by TriShield, Jun 25, 2008.

  1. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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    U.S. production was to end in '09

    Bryce G. Hoffman / The Detroit News

    With record gasoline prices undermining sales of its full-size pickups, Ford Motor Co. is considering extending the life of its elderly Ford Ranger compact pickup for another two years, according to people familiar with the company's plan.

    That would be good news for workers at Ford's Twin Cities Assembly Plant in St. Paul, Minn. The factory is slated to close next year when production of the Ranger is scheduled to end.

    Under the plan now being weighed by Ford, the Ranger would stay in production until 2011 when a new global version is ready. That truck will be produced overseas.

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    The review of the Ranger is part of a broader rethinking of Ford's entire truck program triggered by skyrocketing fuel prices and a consumer shift to smaller, more fuel-efficient vehicles.

    As The Detroit News first reported two weeks ago, the Dearborn automaker is planning on converting some of its U.S. truck plants to car production. It is also taking a hard look at every future product program.

    Though no final decisions have yet been made, sources say the company is considering an indefinite delay of the SVT Raptor, a planned high-performance version of its F-150 pickup.

    It is also likely to kill the new 6.2-liter V-8 engine that was supposed to power the truck. The ill-fated HEMI-fighter was originally dubbed "The Hurricane" and redubbed "The Boss" in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Now, it may be yet another victim of high gas prices and changing consumer tastes.

    Officially, the company would not confirm any of these developments.

    "We do not discuss future product plans for competitive reasons," said Ford spokesman Said Deep.

    But analysts said these moves make sense with gasoline selling for more than $4 a gallon.

    "With high gas prices, the Ranger is looking a lot more attractive," said analyst Erich Merkle of IRN Inc., adding that he was aware that Ford was considering keeping the truck alive.

    The Ranger debuted in 1982 as a 1983 model, replacing the Ford Courier. The truck has been lauded for its quality and capabilities, but Ford has not made a significant investment in the Ranger for more than a decade, leaving it to languish.

    But at 21 mpg city and 26 mpg highway, the Ranger is the most fuel-efficient compact pickup on the market today. And despite going more than a decade without a significant redesign, it is still the nation's No. 2 compact pickup after the Toyota Tacoma.

    Ford originally planned to end Ranger production this year, but agreed to keep St. Paul open for another year as part of its 2007 contract with the United Auto Workers.

    UAW Local 879 President Roger Terveen, who represents workers in St. Paul, said the union has heard nothing from the company suggesting the plant could stay open beyond next year.

    "We've talked with management and expressed our desire to keep it going," he said. "We think it's in Ford's best interest. The trucks are selling."

    Ranger sales have posted a modest gain this year. The 36,421 trucks Ford had sold by June represented a 2.3 percent increase over the same period last year. That may not be much, but it is a lot better than the 18.7 percent decline in F-series pickup sales that occurred during the same time.

    "Whatever they're selling, it's with zero marketing," said analyst Jim Hall of 2953 Analytics. "And all of the tooling was paid off a long time ago."

    However, Hall said keeping the Ranger alive is not without cost. The truck lacks side-impact airbags, which will become mandatory by the end of next year. He said the question that will decide the Ranger's fate is this: How much is Ford willing to spend to update a design that will, in any event, be replaced with an entirely new truck in three years?

    Design work is already well underway on a new global Ranger platform. Codenamed T6, the new Ranger will be manufactured at factories outside the United States -- including one in South Africa, which is exempt from U.S. import tariffs on small pickups.

    The Raptor may get a second chance, too. Ford also is said to be considering a high-performance version of the new F-100, a smaller version of the F-150 that it plans to produce at the Michigan Truck Plant in Wayne. Instead of being powered by the Boss, it would be powered by one of Ford's new EcoBoost gas-turbo direct-injection engines that promise more horsepower and better fuel economy.

    "That would be a good move, because they're going to need to generate some 'wow' for the F-100 when it comes out," Hall said.

    http://www.detnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080625/AUTO01/806250358/1148/rss25
     
  2. P07r0457

    P07r0457 New Member

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    :ugh: the ranger is such a piece of shit.
     
  3. Mangina

    Mangina New Member

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    It's old and outdated, but very reliable.
     
  4. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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    And simple, and capable and cheap.
     
  5. P07r0457

    P07r0457 New Member

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    how cheap? Because I'd take a Nissan Frontier over the POS ranger, and you can get the Frontier for hella cheap!
     
  6. squid

    squid braap

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    It's been spared years of "improvements" other trucks were saddled with that made them way too heavy.
     
  7. P07r0457

    P07r0457 New Member

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    yet the tacoma is still the best midsize for offroaders. yet the nissan still has the best engine and road manners.

    the ranger doesn't even get the best fuel economy.
     
  8. pyehac

    pyehac if she's old enough to cross the street, she's old

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    I hope they'll redesign it if it'll stay on the line for a while.
     
  9. Mr3GTP

    Mr3GTP OT Supporter

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    It doesn't compete well with other domestic and import trucks, but if it's all they have, it beats offering nothing.

    Besides, it's replacement will be wholly made overseas. Not that I'm "anti-import", but that's more jobs going bye-bye...
     
  10. Mangina

    Mangina New Member

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    Around here, there also about 8-9000 less than either of those two. If they were all the same price, then obviously you'd pick the Nissan or Toyota.
     
  11. P07r0457

    P07r0457 New Member

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    I spec'd out V6 extended cab 4x4 mid-level (power windows, locks, cd, ac, etc) compact trucks from Chevy/Nissan/Ford/Toyota and they were all within $2k on the "what customers actually pay" price from Edmunds.com.

    And when you're talking about a $20,000 purchase, it's not a signifigant diff to pay $2k to get the Nissan or Toyota. The Chevy actually came in at about $500 difference.... and I'd take the Chevy over the Ford, easily, and even then I'd say get the Toyo or Nissan.
     
  12. P07r0457

    P07r0457 New Member

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    get the fucking toyota or nissan if you want a small, dependable, economical pickup truck.


    the ranger is shit in every category.
     
  13. squid

    squid braap

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    I actually see a lot of Ranger prerunners out here :dunno:
     
  14. dm

    dm New Member

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    I bought a new Tacoma 4Dr DBl Cab 4x4 with the sport option. 6 cyl. It has everything List was 32K and change. I walked off the lot with it for $24.5
    Took me fifteen minutes to make the deal and that was over a year ago.

    I've had several Fords and ford vans (loved them) but no way would I ever buy a Ford Ranger. The Tacoma is a far superior truck. Rangers jsut aren;t worth the money and aI would tend to think one is better off spending a little bit more for something better.

    Recently left a job at the port where we discharge porsches and process Porsche, Lotus and some chrysler products. Dakotas are junk...... we staged those and process those for export. Wouldn't have one.

    Several years agop I owned a 4cyl Mazda truck. I actually loved it. But it was very small and a back breaker on a long trip.

    WIth this tacoma I ahve plenty of room, I get 17mpg in the city, which is good in my area considering on a 15 mile drive you spent 40 minutes sitting at red lights and out on the interstate I am getting 22.775 mpg

    I love the Tacoma, It;s assembled in Wilmington CA. It has power when you need it and it will run. The ride is superb and the truck is very comfortable.

    I have had many cars as well as trucks and I love this truck more than any other vehicle I have ever owned. I prefer it over the 78 Trans Am I had. It's well built, well designed and rides like a limo on the interstate.

    I have to say the Ranger is no comparison to teh Tacoma. I always felt Rangers wer junk. good engines though. Nissans have a pretty good engine, but I don't like the design as well as the Tacoma.

    I found no price difference between the Tacoma I bought and a Ford Ranger with half of the options I wanted which the dealer would barely discount. With the Tacoma I got a far better vehicle for the money with far more options and far better features.
     
  15. mtnbikekid08

    mtnbikekid08 Aime-moi moins, mais aime-moi longtemps

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    Me:fawk:
    Oh, and i get 18 city and 23 highway with mine, which isn't too bad.
     
  16. 98formyws6

    98formyws6 New Member

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    my 3.0 pos got 13 mpg and the tranny took a shit after only 60k miles. I had to give the damn thing away, the chump who bought it "couldn't afford a tacoma"
     
  17. mtnbikekid08

    mtnbikekid08 Aime-moi moins, mais aime-moi longtemps

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    Well i'm at 96k miles original tranny.
    I guess if you try to drive it like a retard though, it could give out that fast
     
  18. CUCUY

    CUCUY OT Supporter

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    the FX2 offraod package is actually very impressive :o
     

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