Oops: Ford Ranger Owners Looking to Tacoma, Not F-150, For Replacements

When the lovable Ford Ranger went to the great Home Depot parking lot in the sky back in December, Ford predicted that its small pickup owners would look up to the larger F-150 at replacement time. Not so much: we hear that Ranger owners are looking to other brands more than Ford to replace their aging pickups.

As the Ranger's deathwatch comes to a close--sales are slipping to zero across the country as dealers sell through inventory--buyers who want small pickup trucks have fewer and fewer choices. General Motors offers the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon (and will replace those models soon with an all-new truck next year), Nissan sells the Frontier, and Toyota sells the Tacoma. Detroit News found that, even as their three trucks age (the Canyon/Colorado hasn't seen any significant upgrades since 2004), small truck manufacturers are gleefully welcoming old Ranger owners. Chrysler doesn't offer a small pickup truck.

According to the Detroit News, 40 percent of people interested in the Ranger were also cross-shopping a Toyota Tacoma, while only 20 percent of those people considered the F-150. However, Ford still claims it's keeping Ranger owners in the family: "we are retaining some Ranger buyers," said Erich Merkle, Ford's U.S. sales analyst, to the Detroit News. It's hard to say exactly how well the company is doing it. Ford doesn't publicly release customer retention numbers.

With the small pickup market dwindling and the products aging, Ford's taking a markedly different route than the other two American automakers. General Motors will bring its new Colorado pickup, which is already making waves in international markets, to the states, while Chrysler is cautiously looking at the industry and heavily considering a new unibody light-duty small pickup; both Nissan and Toyota will continue to make their small pickups for some time. Ford, meanwhile, looks to have shut the door on small pickups. Merkle had this to say: "as for the compact pickup segment, it has become a much smaller part of the overall industry over the past 12 years." Roughly translated: don't expect to see a new Ranger any time soon.

Source: Detroit News

Hai Fail
It's not rocket science.  The first automaker to make a truck similar sized to my 97 Ranger (and doesn't look like a beached whale) gets my money.  I don't want a huge expensive limo truck period.  Otherwise I'll stick to used Rangers and S-10's.
amen to all. ive been waiting for a crew cab ranger to compete with a tacoma or colorado. looks like my next truck will be a toyota or gm. ive been driving ford trucks for 25 years. this is a very sad time for me. goodbye ford, i used to love you so!
I don't get Ford's decision either. I still have my '98 Ranger with 235K miles on it. I would buy a new (updated) version in a second, but now it's gone. I use it on weekends and don't want a big truck like the F-150. Ford, what are you thinking?
I own a Ford ranger FX4 Level II which I love. I wanted to purchase a new one this year, but found out that Ford discontinued it. I called Ford and asked them if they plan on making a replacement for the Ranger, and they told me NO! So, since GM is going to offer an new redesined mid size truck next year, I'm going to switch over to GM. I think Ford made a BIG mistake, but we shall see.
I like the Ford Ranger, just wanted an updated one, so i got a Dakota instead. And I somewhat regret not going smaller than the Dakota. Pickups get unwieldy in the city and parking gets to be a hassle. Ford wants to keep milking the American market for big cars, even as people are wanting smaller ones, like the products they offer all over Europe. I like the Ford S-Max and C-Max, but they want to sell me a more expensive Escape which is basically the same except maybe bigger tires. I'd rather have a B-Max.
I agree with everyone who says they do not want a Full size truck when they do not need one. With Ford NOT Listening to what it's customers wants, the Customers are telling FORD: WE DO NOT WANT YOUR F-150!! I understand that the F-150, Silverados, and the Rams are the Bread and Butter of the Big 3; they just will not get my money until a smaller sized truck is for sale in the US. I am hoping the next generation Colorado from GM will not only fit in the garage; but also fit inside my budget. I honestly cannot understand why car companies expect to sell midsize trucks at just 1 thousand below a Full size trucks pricetag. With the dealer incentives to Full size, it is actually cheaper to go to a Full size compared to Mid size. I WILL NOT BUY A FULL SIZE. I honestly hope that all present and former Ranger owners purchase their next vehicle from a company that listens to their customers: and that company is NOT FORD. They listen to the Bean Counters; instead of the customer.
Mr Sparkle
I could have told them this in 2010. I bought new Rangers in 1995, 1998, and 2002. The Ranger design had gotten archaic so when it was time for a new truck a few years ago I was going to hold out for the global Ranger in 2013 until Ford officially debunked the rumors of it coming of the US. So I bought a Nissan Frontier.
Amen Tom! I would seriously consider a ford compact truck of there was one! But now I'm going to buy a frontier or tacoma. The "mid-size" market is stale as stale can be, but if someone was to put out a true compact truck with some decent mpg, a back seat and price it accordingly, you got an entirely new market.
I agree, ridiculous!!! When was the last years of the real small trucks?? Datsuns, Toyota's, or Mazda's?? They were the size that most home owners wanted! I still want one! I had a 84 Toyota which I gave to my son twenty years ago which I wish I still had. It was good for all the things i needed a comfortable little truck for. It was a great second vehicle! Go to Mexico, Central America and they have different ones that I would like to see here! Gas or diesel I'll take either thank you!!
Ford is building a new Ranger for the rest of the world, bring it here too!!! The majority of the engineering has been done, just tweek for American market. While your at it, bring out a new Bronco on the same platform and build it in the same plant to get the numbers up. Whatever happened to the Bronco concept from 2004(?). So you can have a small (real) 4x4 to go up against the Jeep CJ, like it was way back in the 60's. Off topic, why isn't the Focus available with all-wheel drive to go up against Subaru? It's the same platform as the Escape. Another option on the same platform...another sales market.
Small pick up buyers tend to want another small trucks for replacement. So im not surprised one bit on this move.
Ridiculous! This is a case of "wag the dog". Compact pickup sales are down because of the lack of fresh models from ALL the manufacturers. They can't say they haven't updated frequently because of sagging sales--they haven't even tried! And another thing: we haven't had a true new compact pickup in a while..most of the offerings in the so-called compact pickup market are actually mid-sized. And I KNOW we've gone over this before---you can't price these things only $1000 less than the full sized trucks and expect them to sell! The time is ripe for some new compact truck offerings. Plenty of people, from tradesmen to homeowners would line up for a nice compact pickup in the 15,000-17,000 range. Give it a 4 cylinder diesel or turbo 4! Big gas mileage!
I would not own a full size pick up if Ford gave it to me. They are too Damm Big. For once GM is doing the right thing by up grading the smaller Chevy truck.

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