Ever since Ford dropped the midsize Ranger pickup in late 2011, the company has been pestered regularly and repeatedly about replacing it. The answer has always been there’s too much overlap with the F-150 in price, size and fuel economy.
But things have changed. In the past 12 months:
- The 2015 aluminum-bodied Ford F-150 is bigger than the old steel-bodied truck it replaces. Its price has risen, along with a modest fuel economy gain. The F-150’s starting price of $27,225, including shipping, is up more than $5,000 since Ford dropped the compact Ranger.
- General Motors -- in a rare truck marketing win over Ford -- successfully launched the midsize Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon without cannibalizing the Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra. Now GM has three sizes of trucks: midsize, full-size and heavy duty. With the widest variety of trucks in the industry, GM customers can choose the size of truck that best fits their needs and budget and are not forced to buy a truck that is too large.
- Competition in the midsize truck segment is increasing. Mercedes-Benz, in a deal with Nissan, will be selling a pickup. Mercedes has said it has no plans to sell the truck here, but some U.S. dealers want it. Hyundai appears to be ready to greenlight a pickup based on the Santa Cruz concept. A decision is expected this fall, according to Hyundai.
This has left the door to North America open for the version of the Ranger sold overseas and known internally as global Ranger. There also is talk of Ford reintroducing the Bronco nameplate on a vehicle based off the global Ranger platform. That makes perfect sense.